Damascus (GPA) – Militants in Idlib release photos and a video showing off their Turkish military equipment.
As the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) offensive in Idlib province heats up, besieged rebel coalitions are putting up a fair amount of resistance. One factor enabling these rebels is apparently an influx of new Turkish equipment, which signals that President Recep Erdogan is up to his old tricks again.
The new equipment being was showcased by the Turkish-backed Syrian rebel coalition, Sham Legion. This coalition is made up of elements of the Free Syrian Army, the Army of Mujahideen, and the Islamic Front (IF). The IF is comprised of multiple known terror groups including Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam.
The group released photos on Twitter and Telegram as well as videos on YouTube showing off these new pieces of equipment. They were quickly identified as Turkish manufactured Dragon armored vehicles, a four-wheel personnel carrier.
These photos come at an inopportune moment for Turkey as Ankara seeks to protect “moderate rebels” in Idlib. Just yesterday Turkey’s foreign minister contacted the Russian and Iranian ambassadors to discuss scaling back the SAA offensive.
Turkey is currently recognized as a guarantor state as part of negotiations with Russia and Iran to work towards peace in Syria. Idlib was recognized by these three countries as a “deconfliction zone,” the rules of which Erdogan say are currently being violated by Syria air campaigns against the rebels.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.