The Turkish General Staff has announced that the start of reconnaissance activities are underway, and that posts for control of the ceasefire are being established, according to the agreements reached in Astana on the creation of a de-escalation zone in Idlib.
The Daily Sabah reported that Turkish military units have already crossed the border into Syria’s Idlib province. The operation is said to enhance ceasefire regime, end violence and clashes, deliver humanitarian aid to those in need and ensure favorable conditions for the peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict.
Currently, Idlib is mostly controlled by Tahrir al-Sham, a militant group led by al-Nusra Front terrorist group, al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate. The group is not party to the agreement on setting up a de-escalation zone in Idlib agreed upon during the Syrian peace talks in Astana.
The Russian Defense Ministry hasn’t yet commented on Turkey’s plans for an operation in Idlib, however, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that Russia is ready to support armed groups fighting al-Nusra Front in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone.
The Idlib operation is the second Turkish military operation on the Syrian soil. From August 2016 until March 2017, the Euphrates Shield campaign by the Turkish army conducted also with the FSA rebel fighters was conducted aiming to clear the Syrian border town of Jarablus and the surrounding area from ISIS terrorist group.
Sputnik / AA-Magnum News 2017.