In accordance with the Astana Agreement between Turkey, Iran and Russia, Turkish troops will ensure security in the Syrian province of Idlib. Russian troops will ensure security outside the Syrian province. On Sunday Turkish soldiers entered Idlib.
The Turkish Armed Forces launched a reconnaissance mission on Sunday in the Syrian province of Idlib, which was confirmed on Monday. The reconnaissance operation precedes an expected military operation in the fiercely contested Syrian northwest.
„The Turkish Armed Forces began reconnaissance activities on 8 October[Sunday] to set up surveillance posts within the framework of Operation Idlib“, the Armed Forces statement states. According to Eurasia News, a command battalion and a mechanized infantry battalion have been stationed in the Turkish province of Hatay, the fastest point for an invasion of Idlib. In the first step, 500 to 600 Turkish soldiers could move into Idlib. The army is likely to focus on Atmeh and Derrat Izza near the Kurdish canton Afrin, which is controlled by the PKK-related YPG militia.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey had implemented an agreement with Russia and Iran to reduce violence in the province of Idlib in northern Syria.
He said that the Turkish operation in Syria will be carried out in cooperation with opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army.
„We are now applying the Astana decisions in Idlib“, Erdogan said, referring to an agreement announced last month in the Kazakh capital. Erdogan said that if Turkey had not acted, bombs would fall on our cities.