Turkish President Announces 'Serious Operation' In Northern Syria

Aaron Brown
October 9, 2017

Meanwhile, Turkish military vehicles crossed the Syrian border into Idlib yesterday, a local resident and a local rebel said, after Ankara announced an operation by rebel groups in the area, which is controlled by rival jihadist alliance Tahrir al-Sham.

The president later told reporters the operation was led by Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels and that the Turkish army was not yet operating there.

TRT World's Sara Firth, who is in the southern Turkish province of Hatay on the Mediterranean coast, explains the latest efforts to build a safe zone in northern Syria.

"Turkish forces are not on Syrian soil yet", Abdulrahman said, adding that army was firing artillery shells across the border, while the rebel alliance attacked a Turkish military base.

The scale of Turkey's military buildup has raised questions about whether it has ambitions after Idlib, particularly in the neighboring Kurdish-run province of Afrin.

In the city's central districts security will be provided by the Turkish Armed Forces, while Russia's Armed Forces will ensure safety on the outskirts, according to the president.

"The amendments to the FTA were harmonized last week and will become official during the upcoming visit of the Turkish state and business delegation to Serbia", Cadez said. Turkey has supported and backed rebels that seek the toppling of Assad. But the FSA has increasingly lost territory to extremist Islamist groups there.

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The zone encompassing Idlib is the last one to go into effect, and its implementation has been held up by fierce opposition from HTS, which is dominated by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate.

On Saturday, the US said it backed Turkish plans to intervene in northern Syria. "The news is what you see, not what you hear", said an HTS statement published on the group's Telegram channel.

The intermittent clashes were reported near the town of Kafr-Lusin on the border in the northern countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, Xinhua cited local media as reporting.

Puzzlingly, the ministry also said three senior IS commanders including Omar al-Shishani had been confirmed dead as a result of an earlier Russian strike. They murdered our children in the past.

"We are now in the process of taking further steps towards securing Idlib after expanding the Euphrates Shield Operation".

But the coalition has been hit by successive defections in recent months, leaving Fateh Al Sham isolated just as neighbouring Turkey appears to be readying an offensive against the jihadists with help from Syria rebel fighters.

Erdogan said that many Syrians had fled to Idlib from Aleppo.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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