Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

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

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

Turkish troops travelling in a convoy of 12 armoured vehicles have entered northern Syria in a new military operation.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed late Thursday a Turkish military convoy entered Idlib before heading towards the western part of Aleppo province.

Backed by Russian Federation, the Syrian government has pushed back rebels across the Arab country over the past months, shoring up its rule over the main urban centers.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Antakya, along Turkey's border with Syria, said: "This is what we know so far: dozens of military vehicles have crossed into Syria".

Turkish army armored vehicles drive at the Syria-Turkey border on on October 8, 2017.

The move comes after the Turkish army launched a reconnaissance mission on Sunday as part of efforts by Ankara along with Moscow and Tehran, to set up the zone in line with accords in Astana peace talks.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, now controlling parts of it.

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.

However, the deployment is also meant to rein in the Kurdish YPG militia, which holds the adjacent Afrin region, a senior rebel official involved in the operation said.

One of Turkey's main concerns is the expansion of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara says is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) waging an insurgency inside Turkey.

As part of general Staff, Astana process, which will serve in Idlib tension reduction zone, was reported to begin its activities which constitute observation points from yesterday.

"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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