Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Turkey backs Syrian rebel group in new anti-extremist push in Idlib

Operation Idlib Turkey prepared to retake Syria's northern strategic city
Erik Tate | 09 October, 2017, 00:37

The Turkish president said the operation in Idlib is the follow-up of the Euphrates Shield Operation in northern Syria, which was launched on August 24, 2016, in a bid to clear Turkey's border of the Islamic State (IS) militants and other terrorists.

"If you take one step towards us, we will take two towards you", he said.

"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)".

Several mortar shells landed near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey, believed to be fired from the Turkish side of the border.

HTS wants to continue fighting the government despite the establishment of "de-escalation zones". There are no known plans by the Kurdish forces to take on al-Qaida-linked militants in Idlib.

Saudi Arabia invests $1bn
Saudi Arabia wants to establish an global center to fight terrorism under the aegis of the United Nations, Salman said. Saudi Arabia does most of its trading with the United States but may be looking to diversify that.

In the same context, the Turkish army deployed a large number of special forces and armored military vehicles, which were sent over the past week to the town of Reyhanlı, a town and district of Hatay Province, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near the country's border with Syria.

Along with Iraq's central government, Turkey, the US, Iran, and the United Nations have spoken out against Monday's illegitimate poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against ISIS and further destabilize the region. Turkish soldiers are expected to join the operation later, he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 30, 2017. However, both Iran and Russian Federation are chief supporters of Assad and have strengthened his control over Syria.

Russia, along with Iran, is the key backer of President Bashar al-Assad and Moscow's military intervention inside Syria is widely seen as tipping the balance in the conflict. "It is a very risky area - Turkey may face a backlash from moderate rebels if it can't deliver humanitarian services" and may also "come under pressure" from Russian Federation and Iran to eliminate militants, he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel came under enormous pressure from her rivals to sharpen tone towards Turkey, particularly due to the arrests of around 10 German citizens, including a reporter and a human rights activist, for alleged support for terrorist organisations.

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