Following a report by the Turkish state-run media that Russia, Iran and Turkey have reached an agreement to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib province, more reports continued appearing in the media about the allegedly agreed deployment of Turkish forces in Syria.
A conservative pro-Erdogan Turkish newspaper, Yeni Şafak, released an article entitled “Idlib to be protected by 25,000 Turkish, FSA troops“.
According to the article, Turkish troops will be deployed in the province this month. Turkish forces will enter 35 to 50 km into Idlib province from the Turkish territory.
They will take control of one of the third agreed regions. The remaining two areas will be allegedly controlled by Russian and Iranian forces.
The area of the Turksih operation will reportedly be at least 35 kilometers wide and 130 kilometers long.
“The number of troops taking part in the operation along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will reach 25,000. The forces that will trek through Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib’s south and Dar az-Izza in Idlib’s west will control close to 5,000 square kilometers,” the article reads.
Trukish forces will reportedly control Taftanaz Airport, Jabal Arbain, Jabal Arbain, Taftanaz, Jisr al-Shughur, Ariha, Maarat al-Numaan, and Khan Sheikhoun as well as “be able to monitor Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists in Afrin and terror formations in Latakia,” according to Yeni Şafak.
The recently appeared media reports are likely aimed to impact the ongoing negotiations process in Astana where Russia, Turkey and Iran are trying to reach some kind of deal that will allow to opress the activity of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). Thus, the final agreement could look different to that what has been reported by pro-government Turkish media outlets.