Did he enter the TSK Idlib: President Erdogan explained

08 October 2017, 12:26 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Turkish military has been on the move in Turkey's Hatay province on the border with Syria

Turkish military has been on the move in Turkey's Hatay province on the border with Syria

"We are taking new steps to ensure security in Idlib".

Earlier Saturday, Erdogan said the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is now engaged in operations to secure Idlib while Turkish soldiers are "not there yet".

Last month, Turkey agreed with Iran and Russian Federation to establish de-escalation zones in northwestern Syrian province as part of the Astana peace deal.

"We will never allow a terror corridor along our borders in Syria", Erdogan said.

The province is dominated by jihadist groups and Mr Erdogan has said he will not allow a "terror corridor" on the Turkish border.

Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups who play a major role in Operation Euphrates Shield that Ankara launched in northern Syria previous year, are ready to cross into northwest Syria from Turkey, Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in the Liwa al-Mutasem group said.

Though Mr Erdogan said Turkish troops were not yet in Idlib, he said last month that they would be deployed and residents and rebels believe an incursion is imminent.

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A rebel commander participating in the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP news agency in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, that "all the rebel groups" who took part in Euphrates Shield are participating in the latest operation.

The alliance controls most of the northwestern province of Idlib after expelling former allies earlier this year.

"Are they going to hand over their weapons - we don't think this is going to be the case - or are they going to fight against the FSA and the Turkish army in the near future?" said Ahelbarra.

Turkey has been moving military equipment to its border with Syria since June 21.

Four children were among the dead in the early morning strikes on the Idlib province town of Khan Sheikhun on Friday and Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Turkish forces are preparing to enter Idlib province to support rebel forces opposing both the Syrian regime and insurgents, the Anadolu Agency reported. Turkey, however, has backed rebels seeking Assad's ouster. "We expect that the large-scale operation that has been prepared will be launched perhaps within the next 24 hours", the rebel said.



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