Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Erdogan announces "serious" operation in northern Syria

Operation Idlib Turkey prepared to retake Syria's northern strategic city
Saul Franklin | 09 October, 2017, 00:40

[2] US (2017). Turkey backs Syrian rebels for "serious operation" in Idlib.

U.S. -Turkish tensions have risen over U.S. military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey.

Turkish-backed rebels are deploying to Idlib province to fight an alliance led by the former Nusra Front, Turkish President Erdogan has said. (2017). Turkey starting "serious operation" in Syria's Idlib, says Erdogan.

"We will never allow a terror corridor along our Syria border", the Turkish president said.

"If you take one step towards us, we'll take two towards you".

He also said that Russia has agreed to provide air support to the operation; however, there has been no official comment yet by the Russian Defense Ministry supporting the claim.

Turkey "will ensure security in Idlib, and we are working with Russia", Yildirim said.

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But the coalition has been hit by successive defections in recent months, leaving Fateh Al Sham isolated just as neighbouring Turkey appears to be readying an offensive against the jihadists with help from Syria rebel fighters.

TRT World's Sara Firth, who is in the southern Turkish province of Hatay on the Mediterranean coast, explains the latest efforts to build a safe zone in northern Syria.

Turkey's goal will be to prevent violations of the ceasefire agreement, deliver aid to civilians and pacify groups including the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Kalin said, referring to the al-Qaeda-linked militants. The Turkish leader's coordination with Russian Federation and Iran comes amid deepening tensions with the USA, exacerbated by Washington's decision to deliver arms to Kurdish groups that Turkey views as terrorists.

Idlib province has been the destination of many militant groups who were relocated under deals with Damascus in the past year.

The newly launched operation is regarded as a strong push for establishing the fourth zone, to be set up in Idlib.

Russia, along with Iran, is the key backer of President Bashar al-Assad and Moscow's military intervention inside Syria is widely seen as tipping the balance in the conflict.

Many Syrians had fled to Idlib from the neighbouring Aleppo province, which was rocked by heavy fighting past year, and Turkey meant to support them, Erdoğan said.

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