Turkey Requests the Personal Information of Idlib’s Factions’ Troops and an Inventory of Their Weapons  

Troops of the “National Army” in a graduation ceremony in the al-Baba, rural Aleppo – August 2018 (Reuters)

Troops of the “National Army” in a graduation ceremony in the al-Baba, rural Aleppo – August 2018 (Reuters)


Turkey has demanded that the factions, performing in Idlib, provide it with the personal information of their troops, the type of weapons they own and its amount. This corresponded to the near implementation of the demilitarized zone’s deal.

Today, on Friday (October 5), a source from the “Free Army” told Enab Baladi that the Turkish intelligence services ordered the factions to deliver a report of each troop, including a personal photo, the name and other related personal information, in addition to conducting a process of inventory of the weaponry, of all types; light, medium and heavy.

The source added that the Turkish order did not target specific factions, as it was directed at all of them, including “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.”

The mentioned developments correspond to the proximity of the implementation of the first term of the Idlib Deal, which provides for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between the military factions and the Syrian regime’s control areas.

The factions are decided to withdraw heavy weaponry from the demilitarized area before mid-October.

The source explained that the step called for by the Turkish intelligence services resembles what it has already done in the areas of the “Euphrates Shield,” northern rural Aleppo, and the “Olive Branch,” in Afrin.

The source said that the personal information of the troops are requested as to know the fake numbers on the one hand and for matters of organization under the “National Army,” in Northern Syria, in the future, on the other.

Turkey started funding the “Free Army” factions in Idlib since last February, and it played a key role in their merger in the “National Front for Liberation.”

The “National Front” and the “Tahrir al-Sham” are the two major factions in the military landscape of Idlib, in addition to the “Jaysh al-Izza” (the Army of Glory, which refused to merge with any other formation in the past a few months.

Turkey, according to the source, has started conducting a census of civilians within the governorate, and pointed out that the associations in Ariha have requested a family registry record of each of the families present in the city.

The associations declared that issuing the registry record is demanded from all families, both which have a family record book and those who do not have it.

Today Idlib lives a state of security chaos, due to which dozens of civilians and militants were killed, while “Islamic State” affiliated cells are accused of the incidents.

So far, the governorate’s future is foggy, especially following the latest Turkish-Russian deal, providing for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between the areas controlled by the Syrian regime and those held by the opposition.

The governorate is suffering from deteriorating services, civil and administrative organization, in addition to the random military and security status, imposed by the various factions present in it and the absence of a central rule, to refer to when disputes or problems erupt.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he believes that through the Idlib deal, signed with Russia, his country will be able to come up with a “nice image and a bright face.”

In a speech delivered before the parliamentary bloc of the “Justice and Development” Party on October 2, Erdoğan added: “We came to believe that all the steps we have undertaken in Syria are not wrong, and, God willing, I am sure that we will come out of Idlib’s test also with a bright face.”

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