Turkey Defends its Borders With Syria in Fear of Refugee Inflow - Reports

© AP Photo / Ibrahim UstaA Turkish military chopper, moving soldiers to the frontier, lands in a mountainous district of Yuksekova, in the Hakkari province, near the Turkish-Iraqi-Iranian border, southeastern Turkey (File)
A Turkish military chopper, moving soldiers to the frontier, lands in a mountainous district of Yuksekova, in the Hakkari province, near the Turkish-Iraqi-Iranian border, southeastern Turkey (File) - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Turkish military is sending military equipment to Kilis province bordering Syria over concerns of a new wave of refugees that could be provoked by a possible military operation in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, Hurriyet Daily News reported on Tuesday.

At least eight vehicles transporting tanks and howitzers passed through Kilis on the way to the Turkish district of Elbeyli on the Syrian border on Tuesday, according to Hurriyet Daily News. The media outlet said, citing security sources, that this move was aimed at helping contain a new wave of Syrian refugees that could result from a potential Syrian government offensive in Idlib province, which is one of Syria's de-escalation zones and a remaining stronghold of insurgency in the country.

READ MORE: AfD Lawmaker Calls for Dialogue With Assad on Syrian Refugees' Return

In this Sunday, March 20, 2016 file photo, volunteers help migrants and refugees on a dingy as they arrive at the shore of the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey. - Sputnik International
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Turkey has also expanded the Atmeh refugee camp on the Syrian side of the border and reinforced 12 observation points to monitor the situation in the de-escalation zone, according to the report.

The situation in Idlib has escalated over the past weeks amid the recent reports of a potential government offensive after Russia said it had evidence that terrorists in the province were preparing a false-flag chemical weapons attack to frame the government forces and spark a US-led military intervention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that talks were underway to create humanitarian corridors in Idlib to allow civilians to leave the province. 

As Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told reporters on Monday, nobody was interested in active fighting in Syria's Idlib, which may result in mass casualties.

READ MORE: Syria's Idlib Liberation More Likely By Military Op Than Ceasefire — Minister

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