Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Hatay Commando troops were shipped to the border zone

Hatay Commando troops were shipped to the border zone

Turkish soldiers, including special forces, and 30 armored vehicles entered Idlib on Thursday night as part of de-escalation zones deal.

"The Turkish Armed Forces continue to carry out their duties in the territory within the engagement rules agreed by the guarantor countries in the Astana negotiations".

The YPG accused Turkey of making threatening moves towards Afrin, the neighbouring region held by the militia.

Broadcaster CNN Turk reported on its website that there was a clash in Idlib countryside near the Ogulpinar border post in Turkey's Reyhanli district.

Vehicles arriving in district of Reyhanli, bordering city of Idlib, were dispatched to border units to be deployed.

The convoy was heading toward Sheikh Barakat, a high area overlooking rebel-held territory and the Kurdish YPG-controlled canton of Afrin, the witnesses said.

The deployment is part of the de-escalation deal brokered in Astana last month between Ankara, Tehran and Moscow.

Turkey has supported rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the war.

In recent weeks, a military build-up had taken place on Turkey's border with Syria, with Turkeysupporting a campaign to secure opposition control over Idlib.

Turkish troops enter Syria.

One of Turkey's main concerns is the expansion of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara says is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) waging an insurgency inside Turkey.

As the strongest part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the YPG has received military aid from Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States to fight Islamic State.

The last time Turkish forces were engaged in Syria was in August, when Turkey launched its eight-month long Euphrates Shield operation against extremists and Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Antakya, along Turkey's border with Syria, said: "This is what we know so far: dozens of military vehicles have crossed into Syria".

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