Did he enter the TSK Idlib: President Erdogan explained

Turkish military has been on the move in Turkey's Hatay province on the border with Syria

"The Free Syrian Army ( FSA) is now carrying out the operation and our soldiers haven't yet entered Idlib", Erdogan said, adding that the name of the operation will be announced.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on October 7 an operation to retake Idlib, a province under rebel control in northern Syria, amid a reported military buildup on the border between the two countries.

Appearing to confirm this, Erdogan said: "Idlib is a region where we will provide protection in the inside and Russian Federation on the outside".

NTV reported that Erdogan told reporters after his speech that Russian Federation was backing the operation from the air, while Turkish soldiers were supporting it from inside Turkish borders.

The military operations are expected to be held jointly with troops of the Free Syrian Army.

He also vowed support for "our brothers in Idlib", who left Aleppo for Idlib, apparently referring to militants who left the city freed by the Syrian army in December 2016 as a result of an agreement backed by Russian Federation.

A rebel commander participating in the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP news agency in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, that "all the rebel groups" who took part in Euphrates Shield are participating in the latest operation.

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The Hamza Brigade, also part of Euphrates Shield, posted video online of what it said was a convoy of its forces heading for Idlib.

The Turkish president has announced plans to start a new military operation in Syria in a move which has been rumored for weeks. It said the operation was yet to formally begin.

Asked whether the Idlib operation would be similar to Euphrates Shield, Erdogan replied: "When you enter the boxing ring you don't count your punches".

It said in the statement that Idlib would "not be a picnic" for them and added "the lions of jihad and martyrdom are waiting to pounce". "The goal of the operation is to liberate Idlib fully from Tahrir al-Sham".

"The fighters number in the thousands and there are Turkish soldiers participating", he added, without giving further details.

Turkey has been one of the biggest supporters of rebels fighting Assad during the six-and-a-half year war, but its focus has evolved from ousting him to securing its border.

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