Turkey launches operation to establish security in Syria’s Idlib

Turkey has started an operation in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province to establish security in this de-escalation zone, the country’s General Staff said in a statement on Monday.

Under the Astana agreement, the Turkish military crossed the Syrian border and entered Idlib’s territory on October 8, it said. “Reconnaissance work was carried out to find observation posts with the goal of monitoring the ceasefire implementation.”

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was cooperating with the fighters from the opposition’s Free Syrian Army on establishing security in Syria’s Idlib based on the agreements reached with Russia and Iran.

On September 21, Erdogan also stressed that Turkey would ensure security in the Idlib de-escalation zone and Russia would do this near it.

In May, the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, Russia, Iran and Turkey, signed a memorandum on setting up four de-escalation zones in Syria. At the moment, three of them are operating: in southwest Syria, in Eastern Ghouta (a Damascus suburb) and the area around the city of Homs. The fourth one embraces the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.