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Turkish forces launch incursion into Syria

13 October 2017

The Turkish military activity in Idlib aims at establishing a "de-escalation zone" in the region, the written statement said.

Ankara must take its "own measures" in Syria's Idlib due to its shared border with Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

According to Turkish General Staff, Turkish Armed Forces, operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone to observe ceasefire, ensure humanitarian aid deliveries and to create conditions for the population to return to their homes, began setting up their observation posts on October 12, within the framework of agreements reached in Astana.

Turkish news media reported that the vehicles carrying the troops crossed into Idlib province late on Thursday.

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The convoy was escorted by fighters from Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of jihadist groups including the former al Qaeda affiliate previously known as the Nusra Front, Abu Khairo said.

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

The operation is part of efforts by Turkey, along with Russian Federation and Iran, to set up a de-escalation zone in line with accords in the Astana peace process aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.

Although Moscow supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey supports rebels seeking his ouster, the two countries have worked together intensely to try to end the conflict in the past few months.

Turkish forces launch incursion into Syria