Turkish tanks roll into northern Syria

Syrian jet pilot released from custody in Turkey

A convoy of approximately 30 Turkish army armoured vehicles and 100 troops entered the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib on Thursday night, a statement said.

"No one can say to us, "why are you doing this"?" he thundered.

Turkey said on Saturday it was carrying out a military operation in Idlib and surrounding areas as part of a deal it reached with Russian Federation and Iran last month to enforce a "de-escalation" zone in northwest Syria.

Turkish army armored vehicles drive at the Syria-Turkey border on on October 8, 2017.

They agreed on four such ceasefire zones in Syria as a prelude to negotiations. Three other de-escalation zones are now operating in south-western Syria, eastern Ghouta (suburbs of Damascus) and northern Homs province.

Turkey is accelerating its military buildup around Idlib with the deployment of more units and drones to determine surveillance points in the Syrian province, Arab News reported.

Turkey has supported rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the war.

"It remains to be seen what happens to the fighters who control Idlib province".

Last year, Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield operation, an incursion into northern Syria alongside Syrian rebel groups to take territory on the frontier from Islamic State.

Erdogan has repeatedly vowed he will not allow the YPG to form a "terror corridor" reaching the Mediterranean on Turkey's southern border.

The YPG accused Turkey of making threatening moves towards Afrin, the neighbouring region held by the militia.

"(It is) in line with Astana 6 resolutions to ensure the area is protected from Russian and regime bombing and to foil any attempt by the separatist YPG militias to illegally seize any territory", said Mustafa Sejari, an official in an FSA rebel group.

"Turkey is not after anything in Idlib but (an) Afrin siege could ignite fire of another war in the region", the YPG said on Twitter.



Other news