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Turkey advances into Syria's Idlib in major offensive against jihadists

Turkey advances into Syria's Idlib in major offensive against jihadists

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday Turkey was implementing a deal agreed with Russian Federation and Iran to reduce violence in Syria's northern province of Idlib, in cooperation with Free Syrian Army rebel fighters.

"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)".

The operation is part of a de-escalation deal agreed between Turkey, Iran, and Russian Federation, and will involve Syrian rebel groups crossing into Idlib supported by Turkish soldiers from inside Turkey.

Already tense relations took a turn for the worse after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown on his opponents following a failed coup attempt a year ago, Reuters reported.

The spokesman noted that the establishment of a de-escalation zone in rebel-held Idlib Province would start in the coming days. The Pentagon announced in March 2016 that American forces had killed Shishani, one of the most notorious faces of IS known for his thick red beard.

The Free Syrian Army is a rebel group comprising Syrian military defectors and rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. "Salah al-Din al-Shishani is still alive and is somewhere in the regions controlled by militant groups in the west of Aleppo province".

Henry Bolton elected the new leader of UKIP in shock result
A banner was superimposed with an image of Mr Farage posing as Adolf Hitler with the European Union logo in the background. That comment was likely aimed at anti-Muslim candidate Anne Marie Waters , who came in second with 21 percent of the vote.

"The Free Syrian Army with support from Turkish troops is in full readiness to enter the area but until this moment there is no movement", he said.

On Saturday, Turkish military deployed fully-equipped commando units along its border with Syria after the president hinted at further steps to secure Idlib.

"We won't allow a terror corridor along our Syrian border", he said, adding that the operation aims to provide security for Idlib.

The FSA groups supported by Turkey are now ready to enter Idlib, Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in the Liwa al-Mutasem group 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.

Turkish and Serbian business communities have high hopes from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Belgrade on Tuesday.

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