The Turkish Armed Forces are about to evacuate one of their last “observation posts” within the government-held part of northwestern Syria.
On December 27, a convoy carrying troops and equipment left the post, which is located near the town of Tell Touqan in the southern countryside of Idlib, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
“The [convoy’s] vehicles moved to Turkish posts in the al-Zawiya Mount,” the SOHR reported. “The area is witnessing intensive movements of Turkish forces.”
Tell Touqan is one of the last two Turkish posts besieged by Syrian government forces. The second post is located at al-Eis Hilltop in the western Aleppo countryside. Turkish forces began evacuating the two posts earlier this month.
During the last two months, Turkish forces withdrew from many posts in government-held areas. However, they boosted their military presence in southern Idlib.
Turkish observation posts were established between 2018 and 2019 to “observe” the ceasefire in Greater Idlib. Later, however, hundreds of heavily-armed Turkish troops were deployed in these posts, effectively turning them into combat positions.
Turkey does not appear to be interested in a new military confrontation with Syrian government forces in Greater Idlib. At the same time, Ankara is yet to fulfill its commitments under the March 5 de-escalation agreement with Russia. The Lattakia-Aleppo highway, M4, is still closed and Turkish forces are not taking action against terrorists in the region.
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