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Turkey Dispatches Special Forces near Syria’s Idlib

Turkey Dispatches Special Forces near Syria’s Idlib

Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 10:15
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 8, 2019. (Reuters)
Ankara, London, Damascus - Saeed Abdulrazek and Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey sent more commando units to reinforce its southern provinces near its border with Syria.

A military convoy transporting commandos first arrived in the southern Hatay province as part of Turkey's recent military reinforcements overnight Saturday, then headed to the area adjacent to Syria’s Idlib region.

Turkey has been reinforcing its military presence on the border with Syria days after a visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moscow where he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two leaders agreed on launching joint patrols in Idlib.

Turkey has deployed large numbers of troops and reinforced military mechanisms along the border with Syria for a military operation in Manbij and east of the Euphrates. However, it suspended the operation after US President Donald Trump announced in December that he intended to withdraw American forces from the war-torn country and his proposal to establish a safe zone in its northeast.

Erdogan had previously said that should the Syrian conflict fail to be resolved on the negotiations table, it will be on the field after local Turkish elections on March 31.

Erdogan and Putin both want to eliminate terrorists from Idlib, as they discussed in their meeting earlier this week. The Turkish leader said that military and intelligence agencies from both countries are cooperating to this end.

Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that the regime continued to shell overnight Saturday areas in the al-Tamanah town in southern Idlib.

It also shelled a demilitarized zone in the northern Hama countryside, as well as other regions in the southern Aleppo countryside and southeastern Idlib countryside.

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