Facing tough mission in Syria’s Idlib, Turkish forces attacked by armed terrorists

Tasnim – Turkey deployed a number of its military officers to Syria’s northern province of Idlib to disarm the remaining terrorist groups under an agreement with Russia, but the mission failed after the militants refused to drop weapons and attacked the Turkish forces.

Turkey, known as one of the three guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria’s de-escalation zones, reached an agreement with Russia in September to avert bloodshed in the northern province of Idlib by creating a demilitarized zone.

Under the agreement with Russia, Turkey must disarm the armed rebels in Idlib, but its attempts have been stymied by extremist terror groups in the embattled province.

According to a number of sources, Turkey has recently deployed a number of its officers to Idlib to disarm the terrorist groups, with the mediation of the so-called Free Syrian Army.

But the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group refused to drop arms and has reportedly launched an attack on the Turkish and on the Free Syrian Army forces.

The document signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan has imposed an October 10 deadline for all heavy weapons — including tanks, mortars and artillery systems — to be removed from Idlib. By October 15, all designated terrorist groups must be cleared from the area, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a former al-Qaeda affiliate and the largest armed faction in Idlib.

The Syrian and allied Russian forces have threatened an all-out assault on Idlib if Turkey fails to carry out its commitments.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently fighting against the central government.

In the meantime, Iran and Russia have remained close allies of Syria and support its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.