Turkey is gearing up for a different sort of fight in Syria. Turkish forces have reportedly been pouring into the country to reinforce outposts across Idlib and Hama provinces since August. They continued to come in unabated even after Moscow and Ankara struck a deal to set up a de-escalation zone in Idlib and forestall a major offensive by the Syrian army. On Tuesday, for example, a convoy of some 35 Turkish military vehicles accompanied by an unknown number of pro-Turkey rebels was spotted crossing the border. This comes two days after Turkey said it would further expand its military footprint in the country by setting up “secure zones” across northern Syria, including in Kurdish-held areas east of the Euphrates River. According to the deal, all heavy weaponry is supposed to be withdrawn from the de-escalation zone by Oct. 10, and hard-line rebels are supposed to vacate the area by Oct. 15. The onus is primarily on Turkey to make it happen, whether by carrot or by stick, but the
Daily Memo: Movements in Syria, Talks on Trade
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