According to a parliamentary question, a copy of which was obtained by Nordic Monitor, Ünal Çeviköz, deputy chairperson of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey and Russia signed a secret agreement allowing Turkish-backed mercenaries to attack areas controlled by SDF in Syria. According to Çeviköz, a former ambassador, Turkey had to agree in return to withdraw its troops and military equipment from Idlib.
On May 6, 2019 Çeviköz submitted a parliamentary question asking Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu if the claim was true. The minister declined to respond to the question, although he was obliged to provide an answer within two weeks, according to Article 98 of the Turkish Constitution.
Turkish-backed mercenaries have simultaneously launched offensives in territory held by the SDF and seized some villages since 2018. This agreement might have forced Russia to remain silent during the attacks.