06:43 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Turkish forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are seen at the al Baza'a village on the outskirts of al-Bab town in Syria

    Turkey Boosts Military Presence in Syria - Reports

    © REUTERS / Khalil Ashawi
    Middle East
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    Additional Turkish military equipment and personnel have reportedly been sent to the north-western Syrian province of Idlib under the Astana agreements on de-escalation zones.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Anadolu news agency, a new convoy of military equipment has crossed a checkpoint in the Reyhanli district of the Turkish southern province of Hatay heading to the Syrian village of Atimah.

    Earlier this week, the Turkish Armed Forces said that Turkish military units had crossed the border into Syria's Idlib province to conduct expeditionary activities and observe the implementation of the de-escalation zones agreement. The statement added the military units would carry out their duties in compliance with the rules set up by the Astana process guarantor states. The operation was said to enhance the ceasefire regime, end violence and clashes, deliver humanitarian aid to those in need and ensure favorable conditions for the peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict.

    During the September round of Astana talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey, the three states that serve as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, agreed on all four de-escalation zones in Syria. The sides also reached an agreement on rules of operation in buffer zones, checkpoints and observation posts, as well as rules of engagement for units of the de-escalation control force.

    The Syrian province of Idlib is mainly controlled by the Free Syrian Army and other opposition forces, who are fighting against government troops. Idlib is covered by one of four de-escalation zones created after an agreement was reached by participants of the Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation.

    de-escalation, Idlib, Turkey, Syria
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