Turkish Forces Say Installing 'Observation Posts' in Syria's Idlib

Turkish Forces Say Installing 'Observation Posts' in Syria's Idlib

Turkey's military has begun setting up observation posts in northwest Syria's Idlib province, its General Staff said on Friday, part of a deployment that appears partly aimed at containing a Kurdish militia.

Turkish troops enter Syria.

The Turkish army is backing the pro-Ankara Free Syrian Army that will need to oust HTS members in the area to allow Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces implement the de-escalation zone.

According to SANA, the Army units carried out intensive operations against ISIL terrorists in al-Mayadeen city, establishing control over al-Tibeh village that is adjacent to the city and advancing into al-Mayadeen neighborhoods from the western part.

They agreed on four such ceasefire zones in Syria as a prelude to negotiations.

In meetings of Turkey, Russia and Iran in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, Syria's border with Idlib province of Turkey was declared a conflict zone. 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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"The Turkish army convoy is entering under the protection of Tahrir al-Sham to take positions on the front line with the YPG", another FSA official in the area said.

Several Turkish military vehicles, ambulances and tankers were visible in photographs published by Turkey's Anadolu news agency late on Thursday stationed at a village near Turkey's Reyhanli border gate opposite Bab al-Hawa.

Turkey has supported rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the war.

A large column of Turkish tanks and armoured vehicles has crossed into northern Syria in an operation described as a peacekeeping effort by Ankara but criticised by the Assad regime as a land grab.

"Turkey is not after anything in Idlib but (an) Afrin siege could ignite fire of another war in the region", the YPG said on Twitter.

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