No cease-fire in Idlib, says main opposition leader
An aerial view shows destruction in the village of Kansafra in al-Zawiya Mountain region of Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, on March 8, 2020. (AFP Photo)
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on March 10 criticized the cease-fire Ankara and Moscow brokered last week, saying there is “no truce” but a “cessation of military activities.”
“They signed an agreement. What is the conclusion? The first one is that there is no cease-fire. There will be a cessation of military activities. Thus, in this sense, the problem is being postponed,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin agreement.
The CHP leader’s remarks came during the weekly parliamentary group meeting of the CHP.
“The second point is that with this agreement, Turkey officially recognizes the Syrian regime. It is dubbed as the Syrian Arab Republic in the deal. The foreign minister himself says the Syrian Arab Republic,” he said.
With the agreement, Turkey acknowledges the territorial integrity of Syria, Kılıçdaorğlu added.
“Turkey also accepts the fight against terrorism, but here the expression ‘all forms of terrorism’ is important. The question here is this: What will happen to the FSA [Free Syrian Army]?” he asked.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that the Syrian regime lists the FSA as a terrorist organization, but Turkey and Russia do not.
“Is the FSA included in the ‘all forms of terrorism’ expression? We will see in the coming days,” he said.
The CHP leader also questioned what would happen to the “terrorist organizations” located south of the M4 highway. He was referring to an article in the additional protocol that stipulates the establishment of a security corridor, some 6 kilometers deep to the north and 6 kilometers deep to the south from the M4 highway.
“The opening of the air space in Syria will only be possible if Syria accepts it. There is no commitment for us,” he said.
“We wanted peace in the Middle East. We did not want our neighbor to be in fire. We wanted our ‘Mehmetçik’ to remain unscathed, but the [ruling party] did not give importance to this,” he said.
“Mehmetçik” is a widely used Turkish term to affectionately refer to the soldiers of the military.