Russian Federation kills 180 IS militants, mercenaries in Syria

Oct 09, 2017, 00:37
Russian Federation kills 180 IS militants, mercenaries in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country's army forces are supporting a full-scale military operation, which has just begun by the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), aimed at liberating militant-held areas in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

The battles against the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, Arabic for the Levant Liberation Committee, is linked to the "awareness of the group, if the committee disbanded, there will be no battles, but if it insisted on confrontation, the response will be very hard", Idlilbi noted.

Many Syrians had fled to Idlib from the neighbouring Aleppo province, which was rocked by heavy fighting previous year, and Turkey meant to support them, Erdoğan said.

Turkish TV channels showed live images of Turkish tanks lined up along the border with Syria, as well as heavy machinery working to remove parts of the border wall between the two countries.

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Sejari said the operation aims to deploy Turkish-backed opposition fighters in the province now dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants.

Sporadic clashes have been reported on Sunday between the Turkish forces and the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham rebels on the Turkish-Syrian border, media reports said.

Syrian rebels backed by Turkish troops make up the Euphrates Shield military alliance, which controls parts of northern Syria an offensive against Kurdish and Islamic State group forces.

Turkey has long opposed any political transition under him, but Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war shored up the president after years of Turkish and USA insistence that he must go. "There is a serious operation in Idlib today and it is going to continue", the president said.

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Turkey has been moving military equipment to its border with Syria since June 21.

Turkey is cooperating with Russian Federation during its military operation in Syria's northern Idlib province, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday.

Responding to journalists' questions after the televised speech, Erdogan said Turkish soldiers were not yet in Idlib and the military was backing Free Syrian Army forces from within Turkey's borders.

Commenting on the possible Russia-Turkey coordination in Idlib, Orhan said, "Russian forces could deploy along the external perimeter of the de-escalation zone, with Russian aviation likely to bomb al-Nusra Front positions".

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