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Turkish soldiers cross into Syria’s Idlib province

10 October 2017
Turkish T-122 Sakarya multiple rocket launchers are seen near the Reyhanli crossing into Syria’s Idlib province on 9 October. Source: Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Turkish soldiers crossed into Idlib province in northwest Syria on 8 October to set up observation posts, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced on 9 October.

The TSK said the operation was being conducted as part of the trilateral Astana Process under which it has agreed with Russia and Iran to establish and guarantee de-escalation zones in Syria.

Turkish newspapers cited military sources as saying that around 500 soldiers will be stationed at 14 observation posts in western Idlib and will stay there for about six months, while Russian troops will be stationed in the more populous eastern part of the province, much of which is still controlled by the hardline Sunni Islamist faction Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on 8 October that Ankara is working in close cooperation with Russia during an operation that would “provide security in Idlib”.

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