Buoyed by US Support, Erdogan Vows to Expel Syrian Army From Idlib

Turkey threatens to shoot down any Syrian warplanes attacking civilians

With the US loudly endorsing his escalation, Turkey’s President Erdogan is stepping up his threats against Syria, and vowing to totally expel the Syrian Army from the Idlib Province.

That is to say, Erdogan is promising to expel the Syrian military from part of Syria. The Idlib Province, while initially envisioned as a safe haven for Turkey-backed rebels, had been almost entirely taken over by al-Qaeda.

Turkey did little to nothing about al-Qaeda’s gains, but is reacting harshly to al-Qaeda’s recent losses to the Syrian military, and has been attacking Syrian troops and sending more Turkish forces into the area to keep Syria from taking any more.

Erdogan has also said he intends to provide complete military support to rebels in Idlib, including shooting down Syrian warplanes. He says that Turkey will “use whatever tools necessary on the ground and air, without any hesitation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.