The Syrian city of Afrin (bottom) next to a three-metre high fortification, built by the Turkish government along its border with Syria
The Turkish army has begun setting up #8220;observation posts#8221; in Syria#8217;s largely jihadist-controlled northwestern Idlib province as part of its efforts to create a de-escalation zone, the military said on Friday.
Over 100 soldiers, including special forces, and 30 armoured vehicles entered Idlib, Turkey#8217;s Hurriyet daily reported on Friday, as it speculated more troops could be sent to the province over the next few days.
The fourth de-escalation zone includes Idlib but also parts of the neighbouring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo regions.
While Turkey supports Syrian opposition fighters and calls for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Ankara has worked closely in the last few months with Russia #8212; who supports Assad #8212; in the hope of bringing the war to an end.
The Turkish army is backing pro-Ankara Syrian rebels, who will need to oust HTS members in the area to allow Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces to implement the de-escalation zone.