Vice-President Fouad Oktay stressed the importance of the Idlib agreement which he said had “averted major humanitarian crisis in northern Syria” and shattered the Assad regime’s dreams of launching a military operation against the region.
The joint military operations by the Turkish army and the Free Syrian Army have eradicated the ISIS extremist group and ousted the PYD militias as well as restored stability to the area and civilians, Oktay said in his 2019 budget speech to the Turkish parliament on Monday.
“Our agreement with Moscow has averted a major humanitarian crisis in Idlib,” said the Turkish vice president. “ISIS has suffered a crushing defeat thanks to Operation Euphrates Shield while Operation Olive Branch spoiled the scheme that was being prepared through the PYD militia.”
Large swathes of territory were liberated from ISIS as part of Operation Euphrates Shield in northern rural Aleppo between August 2016 and March 2017, including the towns of al-Bab and Jarablus, allowing thousands of Syrians to return to their homes.
On March 24, 2018, Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army announced they took complete control of the Afrin region in northwestern Syria after forcing out the PYD militia in Operation Olive Branch which lasted for nearly 64 days.
The Syrian Coalition earlier stressed the importance of the Idlib agreement. Members of the Coalition’s Presidential Committee made several visits to the demilitarized zone in northwestern Syria. They stressed the need to develop the agreement into a nationwide ceasefire that would pave the way for a genuine political process leading to the implementation of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)