Turkey Moves More Tanks, Self-Propelled Artillery To Idlib Border - Reports

Turkey Moves More Tanks, Self-Propelled Artillery to Idlib Border - Reports

ANKARA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th February, 2020) The Turkish armed forces are moving another convoy of tanks and Firtina self-propelled artillery units toward the border with the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, Turkish media reported on Thursday.

According to the Anadolu news agency, the convoy has reached the Turkish province of Gaziantep, from where it is now headed toward Hatay province in the country's south on the border with Syria.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to attack Syrian government troops even outside the Idlib de-escalation zone if they conduct offensive operations. This statement was made after the Turkish Defense Ministry reported on Monday that five Turkish troops had been killed and five others injured as a result of shelling at the observation point in Idlib by the Syrian army.

The Turkish army then retaliated, attacking dozens of Syrian targets and claiming large casualties among Syrian troops.

Erdogan said last week that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad into withdrawing troops from the borders of the de-escalation zone and preventing attacks on Turkish forces in the region.

Idlib is one of four de-escalation zones created in Syria by Russia, Iran and Turkey during talks in May 2017. The province is one of the remaining militant strongholds in the country, as pockets of the region are controlled by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia).

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