Syria's Assad: Turkey played key role in fall of city of Idlib to Islamic fighters

Syrian President Bashar Assad has blamed Turkey for the fall of Syria's northwestern city of Idlib last month to Islamic fighters, saying Ankara provided "huge support" — logistic and military — that played the key role in the defeat of his forces.

Assad's remarks came in an interview published Friday in the Swedish daily Expressen. The interview was also published by Syria's state news agency SANA.

Idlib's fall was a major blow to Assad's government. The city was captured by opposition fighters led by al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the ultra-conservative Ahrar al-Sham group.

It was the second provincial capital to fall to militants during Syria's civil war. The city of Raqqa fell in 2013 and is now in the hands of Islamic State militants.