MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Turkey has sent additional troops to Syria, Sky News Arabia reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
According to the TV channel, Turkish troops crossed the Syrian border at dawn, heading for the western areas of the Aleppo province. Sky News Arabia added that Turkish troops were establishing an observation point on a road connecting the Atarib and Al-Jinah settlements.
On Saturday, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported that Ankara was sending a convoy of 300 trucks and armored vehicles to the Syrian border, adding that the troop deployment had been going on for several days.
Four de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in May 2017 in accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire. The four zones include the Idlib Province, certain parts of neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, as well as some areas in the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. Damascus took control of three of the four zones in 2018, but the fourth one, which covers the Idlib province and certain parts of the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, is still controlled by terrorists from the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia).
On Tuesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Turkey of violating Syria’s sovereignty by deploying additional forces to the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo and carrying out strikes on areas where civilians resided, as well as on military facilities. Damascus believes that Ankara’s actions are aimed at shielding militant groups that are about to be defeated in an offensive conducted by Syrian government forces.