About 20,000 members of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) along with Turkish troops who support them are reported to be massing for a new military operation in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria.
|The region is under control of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) according to the Turkish newspaper Sabah. The YPG are regarded as a terrorist group by Turkey but at key allies in the battle against the Islamic State by the United States. The first targets of the operation are said to be the town of Tall Rigat and the nearby Minaq airbase the newspaper claims. The offensive is to be launched from Idlib westward and Azaz, Kaljibrin and Marea eastward. Turkey is said to be consulting with Moscow on the operation. On Sunday Turkish President Recep Tayyip is to hold talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.|