PM Yıldırım: Turk­ish forces in Idlib to es­tab­lish ‘peace cor­ri­dor’

Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yıldırım said Ankara is aware of a plan to es­tab­lish a ter­ror­ist cor­ri­dor in north­ern Syria and there­fore launched a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion into Idlib to put an end to clashes and pre­vent the ter­ror cor­ri­dor

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

THE Turk­ish mil­i­tary crossed into Idlib, Syria, ear­lier this week to es­tab­lish a “peace cor­ri­dor rather than ter­ror,” Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yıldırım said yes­ter­day. De­liv­er­ing a speech at an event in Ankara, Yıldırım said that Turkey is aware of a plan to es­tab­lish a ter­ror­ist cor­ri­dor within Syria. “We are on the field to make our precautions in ad­vance,” he said, as­sert­ing: “We are try­ing to es­tab­lish a peace cor­ri­dor rather than ter­ror.” Ex­plain­ing that a de­ci­sion was made dur­ing the As­tana talks to ease the mount­ing cri­sis in Idlib and put an end to clashes in the area, Yıldırım said that Turk­ish troops have taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

THE TURK­ISH mil­i­tary crossed into Idlib, Syria, ear­lier this week to es­tab­lish a peace cor­ri­dor rather than ter­ror, Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yıldırım said yes­ter­day.

De­liv­er­ing a speech at an event in Ankara, Yıldırım said that Turkey is aware of a plan to es­tab­lish a ter­ror­ist cor­ri­dor within Syria. “We are on the field to make our precautions in ad­vance,” he said, as­sert­ing: “We are try­ing to es­tab­lish a peace belt rather than ter­ror.”

Ex­plain­ing that a de­ci­sion was made dur­ing the As­tana talks to ease the mount­ing cri­sis in Idlib and put an end to clashes in the area, Yıldırım said that Turk­ish troops have taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for that.

The Turk­ish Armed Forces (TSK) is­sued a writ­ten state­ment on Oct. 9, declar­ing that Turk­ish forces crossed into Idlib, Syria, on Oct. 8, to re­con­noi­ter as part of ef­forts to bring peace to the area.

The state­ment said the goals of the de-es­ca­la­tion zones, which were de­clared on Dec. 30, 2016, and guar­an­teed by Turkey, Rus­sia and Iran through the As­tana process, aim to in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of the cease­fire agree­ment, end armed clashes, pro­vide hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to those in need, es­tab­lish proper con­di­tions for dis­placed peo­ple to re­turn and es­tab­lish con­di­tions for a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict.

Mean­while, it was re­ported yes­ter­day in the Turk­ish me­dia that the TSK would de­ter­mine 14 spots in the area to es­tab­lish se­cu­rity posts. Ex­perts in the field are an­a­lyz­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of roads and ter­rain where ar­mored ve­hi­cles and tanks are ex­pected to roll in the up­com­ing pe­riod.

Ex­perts are also try­ing to gauge the pos­si­bil­ity of ter­ror­ist at­tacks against Turk­ish mil­i­tary el­e­ments and de­ter­mine dan­ger­ous spots in a way only Spe­cial Forces can un­der­stand, a re­port in the Hür­riyet daily claimed.

The re­port also con­tends that the TSK is work­ing with lo­cal el­e­ments and Syr­ian lo­cals to gather in­tel­li­gence re­gard­ing the area and ter­rain. The du­ra­tion of re­con­nais­sance ac­tiv­i­ties de­pends on the out­come of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­tel­li­gence shar­ing with lo­cal sources.

Con­trol of the Idlib re­gion is di­vided be­tween mod­er­ate op­po­si­tion groups and the al-Qaida-af­fil­i­ated coali­tion of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which re­jects the As­tana process, which it is also ex­cluded from. The op­er­a­tion aims to clear HTS from the re­gion to main­tain the cease-fire.

Turkey also aims to con­tain the Afrin re­gion, which is con­trolled by the Demo­cratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK af­fil­i­ate in Syria, and its Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG) mili­tia.

The op­er­a­tion is the sec­ond time in over a year that the Turk­ish mil­i­tary has crossed into Syria. The first, Op­er­a­tion Euphrates Shield, was launched onAug. 24, 2016, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Free Syr­ian Army (FSA) and helped lib­er­ate sev­eral Daesh strongholds, such as Jarablus, Dabiq, al-Rai and al-Bab. In the op­er­a­tion, a stag­ger­ing blow was dealt to Daesh, and more than 2,000 square kilo­me­ters in north­ern Syria were seized. More than 100,000 Syr­ian refugees re­turned to their home­towns in lib­er­ated ar­eas.

Turk­ish sol­dier and ar­mored ve­hi­cles wait at the Syria-Turkey bor­der in Hatay be­fore the start of the op­er­a­tion.

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