Turkey cooperates with Russian Federation in military operation in Syria's Idlib


President Erdogan said that the operation was being led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and that Turkish troops itself had not yet intervened inside Syria.

"We will never allow the formation of a terror corridor along our border with Syria", Erdogan said, adding that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were now supporting the FSA from within Turkey's borders, while the Russian air force was providing air support to the operation "protecting outside the borders (of the Idlib region)".

More so, Erdogan said that his country is now taking a new step to achieve security in Idlib as part of its efforts to expand the scope of the "Euphrates Shield".

Last month, Turkey agreed with Iran and Russian Federation to establish de-escalation zones in northwestern Syrian province as part of the Astana peace deal.

"Today a landmark operation is underway in Idlib, and this will continue".

The US maintains that the group is still linked to al Qaeda, however.

Military equipment has been deployed in Turkey's south-central province of Kilis, which borders Syrian territories controlled by YPG and PYD.

"We will not allow a terrorist corridor to be established on our border", Erdogan said in his address.

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Earlier on Saturday, Turkey continued to build up its number of troops on the southern border with Syria, close to the earmarked de-escalation zone near the city of Idlib.

Idlib is one of four so-called "de-escalation" zones under a deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran in May.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the current situation in Syria and Iraq via phone on Saturday.

US-Turkish tensions have risen over US military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey.

"Russian and Iranian observers will be in some regions here, and we will have our observers inside Idlib".

On its website, it said the Turkish army had fired artillery in support of the allied Syrian rebels.

The intermittent clashes were reported near the town of Kafr-Lusin on the border in the northern countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, Xinhua cited local media as reporting.