Turkey's possible military deployment of a task force to de-escalation zones in northern Syria's Idlib is welcomed by the Syrian opposition.
Speaking to Turkish daily Yeni Şafak on Friday, deputy prime minister of the Syrian interim government Vecih Cuma said that Turkey's presence in Idlib is a guarantee for the nearly 2 million residents in the war-torn city.
On Thursday, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said that Turkey, Russia a
nd Iran are working on a mechanism for de-escalation zones in Syria involving the U.S. coalition and respective zones assigned to each country. He said that this mechanism includes the joint deployment of forces by Turkey and Russia to northwestern Idlib province, which is currently controlled by the opposition.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister Cuma said that the city is under heavy bombardment from the Bashar Assad regime under the auspices of fighting terrorism, adding that if a solution cannot be reached under the guarantor ship of Turkey, the regime will "burn Idlib as it did Aleppo, Homs and Hama."
"Our people are tired and want to live without bombs or massacres. Turkey's deployment [of troops] would bring hope to the region," he said.
Cuma also called on Syrian opposition groups, saying the Assad regime is preparing a massive assault on the city under the guise of "fighting against al-Qaida," adding that there will be a no place for opposition forces to go, citing opposition fighters who have already came to Idlib after fleeing other parts of the country.
Speaking during an iftar (fast-breaking) program held in Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province along the Turkish-Syrian border, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that Ankara will not hesitate to carry out further operations, like Operation Euphrates Shield, in northern Syria, vowing it would retaliate if faced with a threat from the PKK's Syrian wing, the armed People's Protection Units (YPG).
"We have told our strategic allies to forge a cooperation with us in the fight against Daesh but they choose to operate with terrorist groups," the president said.
In a Ramadan message published on Friday, President Erdoğan said that Turkey is aware of the "crisis-like scenarios being implemented" in Syria and Iraq, and that Turkey is "strong enough" not to be taken down by such plans.