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    Turkey Deploys Military Equipment to Idlib to Reinforce Observation Posts - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / ILYAS AKENGIN
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey has deployed soldiers, military and construction equipment to the Idlib de-escalation zone to reinforce its observation posts in the area, the Anadolu news agency reported.

    A convoy with military and construction equipment crossed the Syrian border on Thursday morning and headed to the observation posts in Idlib, the Anadolu news agency reported.

    The fighting has escalated in Idlib over the past several weeks, as the Syrian army has launched an offensive to clear the area from remaining terrorist threat and closed in on the strategic city of Khan Sheikhoun. On 31 August, a new ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey entered into force in the area. The same day, US forces attacked what they said were positions of leaders of al-Qaeda* in northern Idlib. According to Moscow, the strikes resulted in an unspecified number of casualties and damage to surrounding structures.

    Prior to that, a long-discussed truce entered into force in early August in Idlib as the result of a deal made with the help of Turkey and Russia in Sochi last September. The Syrian military said it would resume its military operation in northwestern Syria if Ankara failed to implement its obligations under the agreement.

    In October 2017, Turkey started setting up observation posts for monitoring ceasefire violations in the Idlib de-escalation zone in line with the agreements between the Syrian ceasefire guarantor states. Overall, there are 12 such posts in Idlib. In late June, one of these posts was attacked from the territory controlled by the Syrian government. As a result of the attack, a Turkish soldier was killed and three more injured.

    *Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    military, observation post, Idlib, Syria, Turkey
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