21:37 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Syrian army artillery soldiers in Idlib province in northwestern Syria

    Syrian Opposition Suspects Turkey Helped US Strike Terrorist Facilities in Idlib

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    GENOA, Italy (Sputnik) – The recent US airstrike on Syria’s Idlib province, the last stronghold of the terrorists and armed opposition in the country, was almost certainly performed with the help of Turkey, which provided coordinates for the strike, Mahmoud Afandi, the secretary of the Syrian opposition movement, Popular Diplomacy, stated.

    "The question that comes to mind with regard to this strike – where did the US get the coordinates of these al-Qaeda* leaders from? The only party that could give them the coordinates is Turkey", Afandi said.

    He stressed that Turkey was playing a double game in Syria by trying to establish control over the Kurdish-controlled northern territories via talks with the United States.

    "Turkey is now playing a double game. It is engaged in talks with the United States on a buffer zone in the northeast, in the Kurdish area. The agreement is reached in essence, they just need to finalise the territorial aspect, how deep the zone will be. Under the deal, the Turks will be able to bring their army to this buffer zone. Kurds had to accept it, because Trump had cut their financing, so they are under financial pressure, they get money from the United States. Turkey, obviously, is very satisfied with the prospect of having Kurds there under their control. In return, it gave these coordinates for the strike to Washington", the opposition figure noted.

    Afandi pointed out that the opposition, operating in Idlib, was silent about the victims of the US airstrike as it was sponsored by the United States.

    "The opposition in Idlib did not say anything about the victims, because they are sponsored by the United States and will not say anything against it. The [US] State Department claimed it was a targeted strike, but actually, there was a woman who died, and other victims. Just no one said anything. If it was Russia, which conducted such a strike, there would already be a major wave of Russophobia and an emergency meeting at the [UN] Security Council", he said.

    The politician expects more of such airstrikes as, from his point of view, the real goal of Washington is to demonstrate its significant role in the defeat of terrorism in Syria.

    "The United States carried out this strike just to be able to say in the end that the victory over terrorists is their achievement. They see that the war is nearing its end and want to come at this moment to take a victory lap. These strikes do not change anything on the ground, but I expect them to happen again", Afandi said.

    The statement comes a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the US airstrike in Idlib, saying that it left about 700 civilians killed. The remarks were made three days after the attack on what Washington described were positions of al-Qaeda* terror group.

    The Saturday strike came on the same day that a new ceasefire entered into force in the rebel-held province of Idlib. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the United States broke the agreement in Syria's de-escalation zone by launching an attack without notice to the ceasefire guarantors. It added that the US attack resulted in an unspecified number of casualties and damage to surrounding structures. A State Department official, however, stated that the airstrike was precise.

    *Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    airstrike, al-Qaeda, United States, Turkey, Syria
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