Turkey begins operation with allied fighters in Syria
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that the country has launched a “serious” operation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province with Turkey-backed Syrian opposition forces.
The operation has been expected in the province, where al-Qaida-linked fighters enjoy influence, after last month’s talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana during which Turkey, Iran and Russia agreed on setting up “a deescalation zone.”
The operation is aimed at crushing alQaida, which has thousands of battlehardened fighters and enjoys popular support in the province, unlike the Islamic State group.
Turkey is a backer of Syrian opposition fighters while Iran and Russia back President Bashar Assad.
Demonstrators in Barcelona, Spain, raise their hands Saturday during a protest in favor of talks amid a political crisis caused by Catalonia’s push for secession from Spain.