Syria urges Turkish pullout from Idlib

Tasnim – A Syrian deputy foreign minister on Wednesday reiterated opposition to Turkey’s military presence in the Arab country’s province of Idlib, demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from all Syrian territories.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Damascus is opposed to Turkey’s military advances in the province of Idlib.

Turkey must honor what has been agreed on in the Astana negotiations and pull its military forces out of Idlib and other Syrian territories, he added.

Turkish troops travelling in armored vehicles entered northern Syria in a new military operation in mid-October.

The development came after Turkey said it was sending troops into Syria to enforce a de-escalation zone in Idlib.

The de-escalation zone forms part of an agreement among Turkey, Iran and Russia reached in the Syria peace negotiations in Astana.

During the sixth round of the Astana talks in September, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara agreed on a deal to establish and patrol a de-escalation zone in Syria’s northern Idlib province.

Idlib and swaths of land in Syria’s northern and northwestern regions are largely controlled by members of Tahrir al-Sham militant group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country’s military operations in Idlib are the follow-up of the Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria, which Ankara launched in August last year without any authorization from Damascus.