Turkish military begins setting up observation posts in Idlib, Syria

Military vehicle and container shipped to border area

Turkish soldiers, including special forces, and 30 armored vehicles entered Idlib on Thursday night as part of de-escalation zones deal.

The Turkish military began setting up observation posts in northern Syria's Idlib province on Thursday as part of a "de-escalation" deal which it agreed on last month with Iran and Russian Federation.

Turkish officials were not immediately available to confirm the report but the official Anadolu news agency earlier reported several armoured personnel carriers, ambulances and containers massing on the Syrian border.

"The Turkish army convoy is entering under the protection of Tahrir al-Sham to take positions on the front line with the YPG", another FSA official in the area said.

"Turkish Armed Forces elements that are to serve in the Idlib de-escalation zone have started their activities by establishing observation posts from October 12, 2017, as part of the Astana agreement..."

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Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate, which ousted more moderate rebels in recent months. The three countries are guaranteeing the ceasefire regime in Syria.

The Turkish army is backing the pro-Ankara Free Syrian Army that will need to oust HTS members in the area to allow Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces implement the de-escalation zone.

The operation in the northwestern region was launched under a May deal between Turkey, which backs groups opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime, and Russian Federation and Iran, who support Assad.

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.

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