Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Turkish forces establish positions in Idlib

100 Mehmetcik enters Idlib Turkish troops enter northern Syria in new operation
Howard Terry | 14 October, 2017, 01:00

Turkey's latest military intervention follows Operation Euphrates Shield, which saw the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish forces, clear Daesh from territory in northern Syria between August 2016 and March.

The people in Syria's Idlib tension reduction zone held a show of love and support after Friday prayers to elements of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which were transferred to region to create observation points for pursuit of ceasefire regime.

Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a group led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate, which ousted more moderate rebels in recent months.

Idlib province is one of the four de-escalation zones unveiled in May by the participants in the Astana negotiations, which includes Russia, Iran and Turkey.

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.

The agreement aims to ensure the continuation of a cease-fire agreed last December between the three guarantor nations.

Turkish news media reported that the vehicles carrying the troops crossed into Idlib province late on Thursday. Three other de-escalation zones are now operating in south-western Syria, eastern Ghouta (suburbs of Damascus) and northern Homs province.

The operation in the northwestern region was launched under a May deal between Turkey, which backs groups opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime, and Russian Federation and Iran, who support Assad.

The Syrian civil war has claimed more than 400,000 lives since it started in 2011, and displaced more than 5 million people.

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