ANKARA (Dispatches) – Turkey has deployed soldiers, military and construction equipment to Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone to reinforce its observation posts in the area, the Anadolu news agency reported.
A convoy with military and construction equipment crossed the Syrian border and headed to the observation posts in Idlib, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense is going to send around 150 troops to northeastern Syria to carry out joint patrols with Turkey, U.S. media has reported.
The move will be part of a series of steps, taken by the United States over recent weeks to ease tensions in relations with Turkey due to Washington’s ongoing support for Kurdish units, operating in northern Syria, The New York Times reported.
U.S. military and diplomatic officials have refused to comment on the issue.
The United States currently has less than 1,000 troops in Syria, who are involved in fighting the remnants of the Daesh terror group.
The fighting has escalated in Idlib over the past several weeks, as the Syrian army has launched an operation to clear the area from remaining terrorist threat and closed in on the strategic city of Khan Sheikhoun. On 31 August, a new ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey entered into force in the area. The same day, U.S. forces attacked what they said were positions of leaders of al-Qaeda in northern Idlib. According to Moscow, the strikes resulted in an unspecified number of casualties and damage to surrounding structures.
Prior to that, a long-discussed truce entered into force in early August in Idlib as the result of a deal made with the help of Turkey and Russia in Sochi last September. The Syrian military said it would resume its military operation in northwestern Syria if Ankara failed to implement its obligations under the agreement.