Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the start of Turkish military operation into Syria’s Idlib province.
“There is a serious operation in Idlib at the moment, and this will continue,” Erdogan announced in a speech Saturday to his party members.
The military offensive is aimed at ending the jihadist control of the Idlib area. Much of Idlib is controlled by the jihadist Tahrir al-Sham alliance, which is made up of large elements of a former al-Qaida affiliate that changed its name last year from the al-Nusra Front.
“We have to help our brothers who arrived in Idlib after fleeing Aleppo. The necessary step was taken, and it is ongoing,” Erdogan said. “The FSA [Free Syrian Army] is currently carrying out the operation, and our soldiers are not there.”
According to some local reports, FSA forces have started entering Idlib and already have engaged in fighting with the jihadists.