Turkish military continues to set up observation points near Afrin

Published 17.10.2017 23:30

The Turkish military continued to establish observation points in Syria's northwestern Idlib province as part of the agreement reached in the Astana talks by Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Jets started reconnaissance flights on Oct. 8, and troops began to be deployed in the region. They are setting up five observation points on Idlib's border with Afrin, a province held by the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed People's Protection Units (YPG) militia. According to local sources, the Turkish military stationed throughout Dar Ta izzah, Deir Semaan and Selwa.

Earlier this month, President Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey was conducting a "serious operation" with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as part of the de-escalation deal agreed to last month with Iran and Russia in Kazakhstan.

The Astana agreement with Russia and Iran – Bashar Assad's foreign allies – involves reducing warfare in several regions, including Idlib and adjacent swathes of the northwest, the most populous opposition-held area.

The operation is the second time in over a year that the Turkish military has crossed into Syria. The first, Operation Euphrates Shield, was launched on Aug. 24, 2016, in collaboration with the FSA, and helped liberate several Daesh strongholds such as Jarablus, Dabiq, al-Rai and al-Bab.

In the operation, a staggering blow was dealt to Daesh, and more than 2,000 square kilometers in northern Syria was seized. More than 100,000 Syrian refugees returned to their hometowns in liberated areas.

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