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US Envoy McGurk blames Ankara for turning a blind eye to al Qaida safe haven in Idlib

The Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, Ambassador Brett McGurk accused Turkey for indirectly helping the al Qaida in Idlib, sending thousands of weapons to Idlib and looking the other way while foreign fighters going in Syria.

According to video (57. minute) on the Middle East Institution, McGurk also accuses Turkey, without naming it for deputy of al Qaida leader making into Idlib. McGurk during the panel he participated on Friday which was organized by the Middle East Institute, stated:

“Region of Idlib became the biggest safe have for al Qaida since the September 11th attack. This is a very serious problem and this continues for sometime. We are very much focused on this problem at the moment and most of al Qaida leaders that went to Idlib cannot make out of the city again. However we also need to ask this question: How and why it is possible that deputy of Ayman al Zawahiri, (the leader of Qaida), can go to Idlib? Why is this happening? How can they reach there? They are not paratroopers. Therefore, the approach by some of our partners to send tens of thousands and tons of weapons there and looking the other way while foreign fighters going in Syria may not be the best approach. And the al Qaida has taken full advantage of it. Idlib now is a huge problem. Right now, there is a safe haven for al Qaida area which is just next to the Turkish border. Therefore of course we are going to discuss this subject with Turks. Just like some other areas that the borders are sealed and nobody was able to across, something we need think of doing the same thing in Idlib. Because this is a different subject from ISIS but a big issue and the issue that we need to focus.”

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