March 21, 2018

Turkish army chief inspects troops near Syrian border

14 October 2017, 01:01 | Darnell Patrick

Turkish troops enter northern Syria in new operation

Turkey accelerates Idlib military deployment

Turkish troops deployed to the Sheikh Barakat hilltops along the Aleppo/Idlib provincial border during the overnight hours of October 12-13 to reinforce the northern de-escalation zone in Idlib recently carved out in * a href="*/stories/182111?q=astana" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *Astana negotiations last month.

Over 100 soldiers, including special forces, and 30 armoured vehicles entered Idlib, Turkey's Hurriyet daily reported on Friday, as it speculated more troops could be sent to the province over the next few days. Turkey's declared aim is to eliminate groups affiliated with Al Qaeda from the border area and counter the expansion of the Kurdish rebels.

In a speech earlier this month to his party, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation against al-Qaida-linked fighters is part of an agreement, the Astana peace process, among Turkey, Russia and Iran.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) flags and "Welcome to Daret Izze", "The descendants of Conqueror welcome you to your country", "Thank you for protecting people of Syria", "Welcome to your hometown", carrying banners written in Turkish and Arabic Demonstrators, "Hello Turkish brors, down PKK", "Welcome to our Turkish brors" slogans threw. Three other de-escalation zones are now operating in south-western Syria, eastern Ghouta (suburbs of Damascus) and northern Homs province.

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At the weekend, reconnaissance teams entered Idlib province as part of an global agreement to establish four de-escalation zones across Syria.

The announcement of his release comes amid a warming of ties between Turkey, which backs Syrian opposition fighters, and Russian Federation which supports President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The Syrian conflict began after widespread protests against the government in 2011 but has since turned into a multi-front war that has killed more than 330,000 people.

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