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Six New Brigades to Coordinate with Turkish Army in Idlib

Six New Brigades to Coordinate with Turkish Army in Idlib

Monday, 30 March, 2020 - 06:15
A Turkish convoy drives near the Syrian town of Kefraya on the highway linking the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, March 10, 2020. AFP
Ankara - London - Saeed Abdulrazek and Asharq Al-Awsat

A Syrian opposition commander said on Sunday that six new military brigades were established in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib to coordinate with the Turkish army in the area.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, told the German news agency that the brigades compromise members of the National Army and the National Front for Liberation operating under a Syrian opposition leadership and not under the command of a Turkish officer.

“There is coordination and a joint operation room with the Turkish army in the province,” the official said.

He asserted that Turkish forces are widely deployed in Idlib’s Jisr al-Shoughour, Jabal al-Zawiyah, Nayrib, Mastoumah and Ariha, in addition to other points set in the Sochi Agreement signed between Turkey and Russia.

“This deployment stipulates the presence of a joint mechanism between the National Army and the Turkish military to facilitate the job of both sides,” the official explained.

Asked about the prevention of joint Turkish-Russian patrols on the M4 highway, he said residents oppose the involvement of Russian forces in the liberated areas because they consider Moscow as the ally of the Syrian regime.

On March 15, the first joint Russian-Turkish military patrol took place along the road.

The official denied that any timeline has been set for the return of civilians living in tents to their villages and towns.

Turkish forces shelled Sunday the village of Debs on the M4 highway, west of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa.

This is the first time Ankara attacks positions on the highway after its agreement with Moscow.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that on March 27, Turkish forces targeted the village of Sida in rural Ain Issa.

Three days earlier, Turkish-backed factions targeted fuel tankers near Ain Issa, while the Syrian Democratic Forces clashed with the factions to protect the tankers.

No casualties were reported.

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