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Turkey Redeploys Forces after Withdrawing from Military Points in Northwestern Syria

Turkey Redeploys Forces after Withdrawing from Military Points in Northwestern Syria

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 09:45
Children in the Atmeh camp for displaced Syrians in Idlib near the Turkish border, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. (AFP)

Turkish forces are redeploying gradually at military observation points they had pulled out from after they were besieged by Syrian regime forces in the de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria.

On Monday, Turkish forces began establishing a new military post in Qastoun town in the Sahl al-Ghab area in Hama’s western countryside.

Vehicles entered from one of the points in Zawiya Mountain in Idlib’s southern countryside and stationed in the school complex in the center of the town.

In December, Turkish forces withdrew from Morek and Sher Maghar observation points in Hama’s western countryside, following an agreement with Russia to avoid a clash with regime forces.

A few days ago, however, the Turkish army established new military points in Saraqeb in eastern Idlib and in western Aleppo.

It also re-stationed its points in southern Idlib, notably in the Zawiya Mountain, which has been repeatedly shelled by the regime forces, backed by Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian and Syrian officers met on Monday with leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Ain Issa, in northern Raqqa.

Parties discussed developments in Ain Issa, which has seen an intensification in attacks by Turkish forces and their loyal Syrian factions during the past two months.

The attacks are aimed at controlling the town that is strategically located in the area that separates the SDF-held regions east and west of the Euphrates River.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, after the meeting, the Russian delegation headed to Sherrakrak silos in Raqqa’s northern countryside and met with the Turkish officials.

This was the second such meeting since December aimed at discussing developments in northern and eastern Syria.

Russia has reportedly asked the SDF to surrender Ain Issa to the regime, but the SDF refused, insisting on maintaining the Kurdish autonomous administration institutions there.

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