Turkey Amasses Forces in Idlib Ahead of Damascus Offensive

Turkey has sent convoys of troops to the province, despite its defense minister having said a military operation would drag the enclave toward disaster.

Turkey has sent convoys of troops to reinforce its presence in Syria’s province of Idlib, the only remaining terrorist stronghold in the country, according to a report by Haaretz. The reinforcements come despite Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar’s recent warnings against a military solution.

Akar said during a meeting with foreign ambassadors Wednesday that a military operation would drag the region toward a humanitarian catastrophe, Anadolu News agency reported.

“We are working with Russia, Iran and other allies to bring peace and stability and to stop a humanitarian tragedy,” Akar said, according to Anadolu.

Haaretz cited activists of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who reported earlier this week that a convoy of Turkish forces entered the province from the Kfar Lusin crossing in northern Idlib and then moved to some of the 12 Turkish observation points scattered throughout the province border.

Another monitoring group, the Central Station for Turkish Intervention, shot a video of armored vehicles and tanks driving by an Idlib road.

Both groups claimed the convoy was headed to two different observation points. Ankara has not yet commented on the reports.

​The Turkish military has deployed 12 observation points that ring Idlib as a part of a de-escalation…

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