A recent report has revealed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conspired with Saudi Arabian authorities and facilitated the ground for foreign-sponsored militants to capture the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib last March following days of clashes with Syrian troops.
The report, published by Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar satellite television network and citing unnamed sources, said that Riyadh funneled weapons and money to the militants, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra group, while Ankara provided logistical support as well as massive fire cover for the extremists.
The al-Manar report also said that a command center was set up in Turkey in order to organize the offensive against Idlib, located roughly 295 kilometers (183 miles) north of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Saudi officials, in return, paid for satellite images that the command center needed for the purpose.
Moreover, Turkey supplied the militants during the battles with Wi-Fi Internet connectivity via an unmanned aerial vehicle that flew overhead and linked the computers and smart phones used by the militants together.
On March 28, foreign-backed militants seized Idlib in northwestern Syria after more than five days of fierce fighting with units of government forces.
Syria has been plagued by a deadly crisis fueled by Takfiri groups since March 2011. More than 222,000 people have so far been killed in the conflict, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Over 3.8 million Syrians have also fled the violence to neighboring countries, namely Jordan and Lebanon, and more than 7.2 million others have also become internally uprooted, according to the United Nations.