On Saturday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed in a speech to members in his “Justice and Development” party that major military operation is underway in Syria’s Idlib governorate.
“There is a serious operation in Syria’s Idlib today, and this will continue,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan revealed that the aim of the military operation is to secure Idlib governorate. The Turkish president stressed that Turkey “will absolutely not allow the creation of a terror corridor along our borders,”.
“We are taking new steps to ensure security in Idlib. Today there’s a serious operation in Idlib and this will continue, because we have to extend a hand to our brothers in Idlib,” Erdogan added.
According to Erdogan, the military operation will be mainly led by the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups backed by the Turkish Army. Erdogan also said that the Turkish Army didn’t enter Idlib governorate yet.
The Turkish president also said that the FSA will allegedly receive an air support from the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Meanwhile, several Leobards-2 tanks of the Turkish Army were spotted inside Turkey along the border with Idlib governorate. Moreover, Syrian opposition sources reported that the Turkish Army opened at least 3 gaps in the border wall in the northern Idlib countryside.
In the last 24 hours at least 3 or 4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Turkish Air Force flew over many parts of Idlib governorate, including Idlib city.
So far Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that’s believed to be the main enemy of the Turkish Army and pro-Turkish militants has not commented on the developments on the Syrian-Turkish border. HTS will likely chose to face the Turkish Army and FSA groups in limited areas only.