BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:20 P.M.) – Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, announced on Thursday, that his country will continue its military operations in the Idlib Governorate.

Akar said during his participation in an event in central Turkey that his country’s armed forces continue to combat all “terrorist organizations” that pose a threat to the security of Turkey, whether inside its borders or outside.

Akar pointed out that the activities of the Turkish army in the Syrian Idlib Governorate are continuing in accordance with international agreements and laws.

He continued, “Besides our activities in Idlib, we are fighting a great struggle against the PKK terrorist organization in northern Iraq, and we recently launched Operation Tiger Claw in order to protect our borders and our citizens.”

He added that some international parties claim that Turkey targets the Kurds in their military operations, pointing out that these allegations are completely false, and added that “the Kurds are brothers to the Turks from eternity.”

Turkey announced on March 1, the launch of a new military operation in the name of “Spring Shield” in Idlib against the Syrian government forces, as it witnessed great tension between the two sides.

On March 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reached an agreement to implement a ceasefire and joint patrols along the M-4 Highway.

The Idlib Governorate is the last stronghold of the militants led by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham in Syria and falls within the de-escalation zone that was established under agreements between Russia and Turkey in the framework of the Astana negotiating process in which Iran also participates.

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