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Turkish troops move into al-Qaeda-dominated Syrian province

 

BEIRUT - Turkish armored vehicles have rolled into northwestern Syria to impose a "de-escalation zone" in a province dominated by al-Qaeda-linked militants, an incursion that the Turkish leader said was meant to secure his country's border.

 

The Turkish military said it began an operation late Thursday to set up "observation points" in Idlib, without providing further details
or saying how many troops were involved.

 

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper said around 30 armored vehicles and more than 100 commandos and special forces are taking part in the operation, with more troop movements expected in the coming days. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deployment of nearly 16 armored vehicles, five tanks and a military force came days after Turkey sent reconnaissance missions to the area.

 

The deployment appears to be focused on establishing a Turkish military presence between the northwestern Idlib province and an adjacent Kurdish enclave.