March 2, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8598

Turkish State News Agency Publishes And Then Removes Photos Of 'Moderate Opposition' In Idlib Featuring Turkish-Backed Fighters In Fatigues With ISIS Patch

March 2, 2020
Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 8598

On February 27, 2020, Turkish online news outlet Haber3 reported that Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency had, in reporting on the recapture that day of the Syrian district of Saraqib by the Free Syrian Army from the Syrian military, shown images of Turkish-backed fighters with patches bearing the emblem of the Islamic State (ISIS) on their fatigues.[1] Anadolu Agency reportedly later removed the images from the report, which had the headline "Moderate Opposition Took Back The District Of Saraqib, Which Has Strategic Importance." The agency's watermark can be seen clearly in the top right corner of three of the images.

The report was published amid fighting in Idlib, which has been escalating over the past month, between the Turkish military and Turkish-backed jihadis on one side and the Syrian military on the other. On March 1, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar referred to the actions of the Turkish military following the February 27 strike by the Syrian military that killed 34 Turkish soldiers in Idlib as Operation Spring Shield.[2] 

Following are images reportedly published by Anadolu Agency:

[1], February 27, 2020.

[2], March 1, 2020.


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