Erdogan Says Turkey-Backed Militants in New Operation in Syria's Idlib

Kristopher Drake
October 9, 2017

Rebels backed by Turkey are carrying out a new operation in Syria's north-western Idlib province, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

"Now we are applying the Astana decisions in Idlib", Erdogan said, referring to an agreement announced last month in the Kazakhstan capital.

"In fact, the resolution of the Idlib situation would mean the untangling of the Syrian knot", Mahalli said.

"Today there's a serious operation in Idlib and it will continue, because we have to extend a hand to our brothers in Idlib and to our brothers who arrived in Idlib", Erdogan said.

Already tense relations took a turn for the worse after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown on his opponents following a failed coup attempt previous year, Reuters reported. The zone would be monitored by Turkish soldiers.

Erdogan said Sunday that Turkey would not allow a "terror corridor" by the Kurdish militia aiming to link its territories from eastern Syria to the Mediterranean.

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

Three of the safe zones have been created to date in Syria's central province of Homs, in the Eastern Ghouta area of the southern Rif Dimashq province, and a southwestern militant-controlled stretch along the border with Jordan.


Most of Idlib is controlled by hard-line militants, including an Al-Qaeda linked group, now the most powerful faction in the province and formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front.

Sejari said the operation aims to deploy Turkish-backed opposition fighters in the province now dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants.

He was referring to the USA -backed Syrian Kurdish militants that Turkey considers terrorists.

He said Turkey would contribute special forces, logistics, artillery and tanks but Syrian rebels would make up "much of" the ground force. However, both Iran and Russian Federation are chief supporters of Assad and have strengthened his control over Syria.

The spokesman noted that the establishment of a de-escalation zone in rebel-held Idlib Province would start in the coming days.

HTS warned in a statement, without mentioning Turkey, that the "treacherous factions that stand by the side of the Russian occupier" should only enter the area if they want "their mothers to be bereaved, their children to be orphaned, their wives to be widowed".

More so, Erdogan said that his country is now taking a new step to achieve security in Idlib as part of its efforts to expand the scope of the "Euphrates Shield".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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