However, the Turkish deployment is also meant to rein in the Kurdish YPG militia, which holds the Afrin region next to Idlib, a senior rebel official involved in the operation said.
The deployment is part of the de-escalation deal brokered in Astana last month between Ankara, Tehran and Moscow.
The operation in the northwestern region was launched under a May deal between Turkey, which backs groups opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime, and Russian Federation and Iran, who support Assad. But since past year Ankara has focused on securing its border, both from jihadists and from Kurdish forces that control much of the frontier area inside Syria.
Turkish troops enter Syria.
That operation was also aimed at stopping the YPG using its own advances against IS from linking Afrin with the much larger area it controls in northeastern Syria. Russia, Syria and Turkey have been discussing a deal for the Turkish involvement.
"Turkish Armed Forces elements that are to serve in the Idlib de-escalation zone have started their activities by establishing observation posts from October 12, 2017, as part of the Astana agreement..."
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