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article imageOver last 19 days 7,400 Turkish troops have entered Syria

By Ken Hanly     Feb 24, 2020 in Politics
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human rights just in the past 19 days 2,700 Turkish military vehicles have gone into Syria along with 7,400 troops during the same time period. On Saturday alone a Turkish convoy of 80 vehicles entered Idlib.
Turkey wants to reverse recent gains by Assad forces
Recently the Syrian army has made significant territorial gains in Idlib province and also the Aleppo area as noted in a recent article.
Turkish president Recep Erdogan
has been demanding that the Syrian army withdraw from territory it has recently recovered. In a recent speech on TV in Istanbul Erodgan said: "Until the regime’s [Syrian government] forces pull out beyond the borders [of the Idlib de-escalation zone] outlined in the Sochi agreement, the problem will not be solved. If they do not leave, we will do this work without waiting until the end of February."
Erdogan has warned that he would retaliate vigorously if any Turkish troops were killed as the Syrian advance supported by Russian air operations. He has retaliated and there are dangers of the war spreading and intensifying as the Turks come into direct conflict with the Russians as well as the Syrian army. The Turks seem determined to provide support for the remaining rebels who are bunched up in the Idlib governorate their last major stronghold. The main group in control of much of the rebel area is Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HYT) linked to Al-Qaeda.
Turks say they are peacekeepers but some call it an invasion
While the Turks consider their entrance into Syria a peacekeeping mission, Syria and its supporters could see it as an outright invasion to help the radical rebel groups from being defeated and stop Syria from retaking its territory. This is the second Turkish incursion into Syria in the past several months. A number of troops were sent to Kurdish territory to create a buffer safe zone along the border with Turkey.
In other Syria news, the Israelis confirmed an air attack on Damascus. According to a war monitor six people were killed in the attack. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) confirmed Monday that two of its members were killed in the Israeli raid on Damascus Sunday night.
More about Turkey Syria relations, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Idlib province
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