BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that the Euphrates Shield Forces are preparing to launch a new operation in the Idlib Governorate that will target areas controlled by the Al-Qaeda linked Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham militants.
“We are taking new steps to ensure security in Idlib. Today, a very serious operation is ongoing in Idlib and this will continue,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the western city of Afyon, as quoted by the AFP News Agency.
In conjunction with Erdogan’s announcement, a large convoy of Turkish-backed rebels were pictured leaving northern Aleppo for the Hatay Province, which borders Syria’s Idlib Governorate.
The upcoming operation by the Euphrates Shield Forces will be backed by Russian air support, marking the first time during this war that the two parties join forces against the jihadist rebels.