UPDATES WITH TURKISH GENERAL STAFF STATEMENT; OTHER EDITS
By Burak Karacaoglu and Ozcan Yildirim
IDLIB, Syria/ANKARA (AA) - A Turkish Armed Forces convoy moved to the site of a planned fourth observation point in Idlib, Syria on Monday to establish it in line with the Astana agreement, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
The convoy entered Idlib from Turkey in the morning and arrived safely in the western Aleppo countryside, which is inside the de-escalation zone.
Turkey aims to establish a fourth observation point in the area with its deployed forces.
Later on Monday, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement that work to establish the fourth observation point has started, adding that reconnaissance for two additional observation points has also begun.
The statement added that Idlib de-escalation zone was created as part of the Astana, Kazakhstan talks to establish, observe and provide the continuity of the cease-fire in Syria, to establish suitable conditions to enable delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy, and to facilitate the return of the displaced to their homes.
During peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, the three guarantor countries Turkey, Iran and Russia agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Idlib, Syria and in parts of the Aleppo, Latakia, and Hama provinces.
On Oct. 12, 2017, the Turkish military started to cross into the region to establish observation points to monitor the cease-fire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Under the Astana agreement, Turkey is set to gradually establish 12 observation points, from Idlib's north to south.
Idlib, located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, faced intense attacks by the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.
Since March 2015, Idlib was no longer under the control of the Assad regime and was dominated by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed organizations.