Turkey will continue boosting its forces and strengthening its military positions in the Syrian province of Idlib, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters upon returning from Azerbaijan on September 17.
“It is true that we have been strengthening the positions of our troops [in Idlib]. We cannot afford to have any weak spots,” Erdogan said, according to the Haberturk newspaper. “If we don’t strengthen our observation points, then someone else will take the initiative, which may lead to civilian harm.”
Erdogan claimed that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) entered in Idlib upon request from Syrian people.
“No one in Idlib wave Russian, US, German or French flags. People there wave Turkish flags. They are not Turkish citizens, they are Syrians. We will not let these oppressed people down,” he stated refering to pro-Turkish demonstrations staged by militant groups in the province on September 14. MORE HERE
Previously, the TAF increased the number of troops deployed at the Syrian-Turkish border as well as deployed battle tanks at its obsevration posts in Shir Maghar, Eshtabraq and Murak in Syria. The TAF has a total of 12 observation posts in the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone, all of them is located within the militant-held area, close to positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).