The deployment of Turkish troops to the northern Syrian Idlib province was a joint decision by the Astana process guarantor states, taken as a follow-up to the peace talks, Ismail Kahraman, a speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, told Sputnik on Sunday.
“Yes, this move was coordinated with other states. That is a move that was taken as a follow-up to the Astana process. This is a joint decision,” Kahraman said answering a question about the coordination of the deployment of troops with other countries.
Turkey, Russia and Iran have come together in Astana and have made a joint decision in their capacity as guarantor states for Syria. They have made a common plan in order to de-escalate the situation through the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria and to ensure territorial integrity. The conflict in Syria has been going on for seven years. It is important to de-escalate this conflict and to put an end to this conflict. To this end measures are taken to make this possible and which are, in fact, normal measures and they will continue,” the Turkish official said on the sidelines of the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in St. Petersburg.
The deployment of the Turkish troops has been criticized by the Syrian side. Earlier in the day, Hammoudeh Sabbagh, a speaker of the Syrian Parliament, said that the legislative body condemned the Turkish invasion of Idlib and considered Ankara’s move as a threat to the safety of the country’s nationals and to Syria’s sovereignty. According to him, the Turkish operation wasn’t discussed during the Astana talks and violates international law.