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Turkey accelerates Idlib military deployment

13 Octobre 2017

Over 100 soldiers, including special forces, and 30 armored vehicles entered Idlib, Turkey's Hurriyet daily reported on Friday, as it speculated more troops could be sent to the province over the next few days.

The development came after Turkey said it was sending in troops to enforce a de-escalation zone in Idlib.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the deployment in Syria on October 7, saying Turkey was conducting a "serious operation" in Idlib, as part of a "de-escalation" deal it agreed last month with Iran and Russian Federation in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"The elements of Turkish armed forces are continuing ir duties in region within framework of agreed engagement rules by Guarantor countries during Astana process", statement said.

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At the weekend, reconnaissance teams entered Idlib province as part of an global agreement to establish four de-escalation zones across Syria.

Three zones are already in place - in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, in central Homs, and in parts of southern Syria - and are being monitored by Russian military police.

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

Civilians there are living in fear of potential clashes between Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army fighters and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, an alliance of armed groups that controls Idlib.

Turkey accelerates Idlib military deployment