Turkish military convoy reaches western Aleppo countryside to set up fourth observation point

Published 05.02.2018 00:00
Updated 05.02.2018 17:33
A Turkish military convoy transports soldiers to the Turkish border on Jan. 31, 2018. AFP Photo
A Turkish military convoy transports soldiers to the Turkish border on Jan. 31, 2018. (AFP Photo)

A convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) moved to the fourth observation point in Syria's Idlib Monday as part of the de-escalation zone deal reached in Astana, the TSK said in a statement Monday.

The convoy entered Idlib from Turkey in the morning and arrived safely in the west of Aleppo inside the de-escalation zone, six days after the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists attacked the convoy.

The aim of the observation posts is to establish, monitor and sustain the current cease-fire in the de-escalation zones, deliver humanitarian aid to the persons in need and to ensure the secure return of displaced people, the statement said.

It added that the ground reconnaissance for the next two observation post has also begun.

During peace talks in the Kazakh capital, the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Iran and Russia, had agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Idlib and parts of Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.

On Oct. 12, 2017, the Turkish military started to cross into the region to establish observation points to monitor the cease-fire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

According to the Astana agreement, Turkey is projected to gradually establish 12 observation points, from Idlib's north to south.

Idlib, located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, faced intense attacks from the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.

Since March 2015, Idlib was no longer under the control of the Assad regime and was dominated by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed forces.

Last Tuesday, the military said terrorists detonated a vehicle while the convoy deployed in Idlib was passing through. The attack killed one civilian and wounded two others.

Meanwhile, Turkish has been carrying out Operation Olive Branch in the region since Jan. 20, aiming to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. Charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

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