Turkey deploys commando units along Syrian border

Movement of Turkish troops is part of military's reinforcements for western Idlib province in Syria

Turkey deploys commando units along Syrian border

By Cem Genco and Erdal Turkoglu


Turkish military deployed fully-equipped commando units as part of its reinforcements for Syria’s western Idlib province along the border, Anadolu Agency media team reported from the scene.

Turkish military vehicles with commandos from multiple divisions were seen being moved to the Syrian border on Saturday near southern Hatay province’s Reyhanli district.

Elements of Turkish Armed Forces, also known as TSK, will be positioned within the borders of the tension reduction zone determined for Idlib.

Their task will be to make the truce between the regime and the local military elements more permanent.

For this purpose, the TSK elements will form control and observation points. TSK will prevent conflict between the Assad regime and local elements in the area and monitor cease-fire violations.

Later on Saturday, a General Staff statement said the Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, accompanied by Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Guler and Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz, visited and inspected the troops in Reyhanli.

The top commanders held a meeting to discuss the latest regional developments, said the statement.

National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Chief Hakan Fidan joined Akar during his visit.

During a meeting in Kazakh capital Astana on May 4, the guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria.

The three guarantor states, as well as representatives of the Damascus-based Assad regime and some opposition factions, met in Astana in September for a sixth round of talks aimed at ending the six-year conflict.

A December cease-fire in Syria brokered by the three countries led to the Astana talks, which are being held in parallel to UN-backed discussions in Geneva, to find a political solution to the six-year conflict.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.

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