Turkey has asked the U.S. to restore its support for the remaining militants in Syria’s Greater Idlib, the Turkish-based pro-militant media outlet Syria TV reported on January 16, citing several sources.
One of the sources told the TV channel that Turkish officials informed leaders from Greater Idlib of their request during a meeting that was held in Turkey a day earlier. Ankara also promised to support the militants against the ongoing Syrian military attack on the region, according to the source.
“Turkish officials have informed faction leaders that Ankara has asked Washington for logistical support for the [Syrian] military factions, and has provided it with a list of what’s needed, but they are still awaiting a response from Washington,” the Turkey-based TV channel quoted the source as saying.
Another source told Syria TV that U.S. officials will be meeting factions’ leaders in Turkey on January 17 to discuss the situation in Greater Idlib. The source didn’t clarify if the meeting is related to Ankara’s request.
U.S. President Donald Trump suspended support for armed factions in Syria a few years ago. The decision was likely the result of the factions’ multiple military failures and their close ties with terrorist groups.
In the last 24 hours, Greater Idlib witnessed a new escalation with the Syrian Arab Arm (SAA) resuming its attack in the region’s southeastern part. The step came following a short ceasefire that was sabotaged by the region’s militants.
If confirmed, the Turkish request to the U.S. could further escalate the situation in Greater Idlib. Ankara appears to be determined to support the region’s militants, who are led by a terrorist group, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).