Turkey Gears Up for 'Risky' Syria Mission With Russia and Iran

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Erdogan told reporters after the meeting that Russian Federation supports the operation from the air while supported by Turkish soldiers from within the Turkish border.

It was earlier reported that Turkey completed preparations for new military operations in Syria and military operations in Idlib may start in the coming days.

Turkey said on Saturday that it and Syrian rebel groups it backs are starting a military operation in Syria's Idlib, where a jihadist alliance is blocking efforts to impose a truce between insurgents and the Syrian government.

Turkish forces on Sunday shelled areas along its border with Syria's northwestern province, an area dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, as Turkey's president says an operation in the area to enforce a "de-escalation" zone was underway "without problems".

Turkey has been moving military equipment to its border with Syria since June 21.

A rebel commander participating in the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP in Beirut that "all the rebel groups" who took part in Euphrates Shield are participating in the latest operation.

Tahrir Al Sham, which is listed by the U.S. and others as a "terrorist" group, counts an estimated 10,000 fighters among its ranks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

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In the same context, the Turkish army deployed a large number of special forces and armored military vehicles, which were sent over the past week to the town of Reyhanlı, a town and district of Hatay Province, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near the country's border with Syria.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is now engaged in the area which is under the control of anti-regime armed groups and some opposition groups. Turkish soldiers are expected to join the operation later, he said.

Turkey has long opposed any political transition under him, but Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war shored up the president after years of Turkish and US insistence that he must go.

Afer those talks Putin declared the right conditions now existed to end the over six-year civil war that has killed an estimated 330,000 people since 2011.

Three of the safe zones have been created to date in Syria's central province of Homs, in the Eastern Ghouta area of the southern Rif Dimashq province, and a southwestern militant-controlled stretch along the border with Jordan.

On Saturday the alliance warned Ankara-backed rebels it described as "treacherous factions that stand by the side of the Russian occupier".

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