BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan penned an article in the Russian newspaper ‘Kommersant’ this past weekend in which he discussed the Idlib demilitarized zone agreement in length.
According to Erdogan, both Russia and Turkey will decide which rebel groups will be allowed to remain in the designated territories controlled by the opposition.
“During negotiations on Idlib in Sochi we decided to establish a demilitarized zone between the territories controlled by the opposition and regime. The opposition will remain on the territories which it occupies. We will ensure that radical groups, designated by [Turkey] together with Russia, will not be able to operate in the region,” Erdogan wrote in his article for Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.
Erdogan vowed to remove these radical groups and work with Russia to ensure that a peaceful solution is implemented to end the seven-year long conflict in Syria.
The Turkish President did not just discuss the new Idlib agreement; he also touched on the large presence of Kurdish-led troops in northern Syria.
Erdogan slammed the U.S. for their continued support of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria.
“Unfortunately, we see that the extraordinary support that has recently been provided, especially by the United States to the YPG and the PYD forces, continues. Such steps, which damage the balance in the region and the peace between its peoples, must be stopped,” Erdogan said.
Turkey considers both groups to be Syrian offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).