28 September 2017
Turkey is set to make another significant military intervention in Syria
- Turkey is expected to take a lead role in the proposed de-escalation zone in Idlib
- Idlib is dominated by the al-Qaeda linked Tahrir al-Sham, who recently pushed Turkish-backed rebels out of the province
- Turkey sees Idlib as the first step towards tackling armed Kurdish militants in neighbouring Afrin
The details of a de-escalation plan in Syria were finalised at the latest round of international talks in Astana on September 15. Spearheaded by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the deal aims to end the fighting in four of Syria’s last major conflict theatres with a six month ceasefire guaranteed by the international powers. The deal excludes the Islamic State (ISIS) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a collection of armed groups dominated by al-Qaeda’s Syrian off-shoot, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra).
The largest of the agreed de-escalation zones is centred on Idlib province, which borders Turkey in Syria’s north west, and is estimated to contain more than one million civilians…
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