Turkey dismisses claims of support for fall of Syria’s Idlib
A man flashes the sign of victory as he rides his motorbike in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on March 28, 2015. AFP PhotoAnkara has strictly refuted charges by neighboring Syria that Turkey assisted Islamist rebels staging an assault on Idlib, a provincial capital that opposition fighters seized over the weekend.
Any intervention into Idlib by Turkey is “untrue,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said at a press conference on March 31.
Bilgiç described the charges as “groundless claims originating from the Syrian regime.”
A wide range of opposition groups, including the Free Syrian Army, staged the assault in Idlib, he added.
Turkey is continuing to beef up security measures on Syrian border, Bilgiç stressed, adding that Ankara does not expect a new influx of refugees.
A Syrian military source accused Turkey on March 31 of helping Islamist rebels stage an assault on Idlib, a provincial capital that fighters seized over the weekend. The fall of Idlib, 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border, marks only the second time in the Syrian civil war that Damascus has lost control of a provincial capital.
The al-Nusra Front, which is linked to al-Qaeda, was joined by groups including the hardline Ahrar al-Sham in seizing Idlib