Turkish intelligence officials asked their Syrian proxies to withstand Syrian and Russian attacks on Greater Idlib during a recent meeting in Ankara, Enab Baladi reported on January 24, citing two opposition military sources.
One of the sources, a commander in the National Front for Liberation (NFL), told the opposition outlet that the meeting, that was attended by NFL and Syrian National Army (SNA) commanders, took place on January 23.
According to a second source, Hakan Fidan, Head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization attended the meeting, which also witnessed a call from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked the SNA for participating in Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates, and stressed that the support for the factions in Idlib will continue and that they will not be abandoned,” Enab Baladi quoted one of the sources as saying.
During the meeting in Ankara, Turkish officials promised to deliver more weapons to militants in Idlib and talked about “surprises.”
Earlier this month, several opposition sources reported a similar meeting, during which Ankara promised Idlib factions with military support and even help from the U.S. Later, some sources claimed that the militants received a fresh batch of U.S.-made TOW missiles.
The new meeting confirms that Turkey is still determined to support the factions in Greater Idlib. During the last year, these factions improved their ties with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups roaming over the region, and refused to implement any of Turkey’s agreements with Russia.