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Turkish Forces Pull out of Bases in Syria’s North

Turkish Forces Pull out of Bases in Syria’s North

Tuesday, 9 August, 2022 - 09:30
Two fighters in a Turkish-backed faction seen at a military position on the outskirts of the town of Kaljibrin in northern Syria. (AFP)

Turkish forces evacuated two bases in the western countryside of Tal Abyad, in the northern countryside of Raqqa, northern Syria, sources revealed.

The forces withdrew from their military bases in the villages of Hareqli and Tannuz.

The withdrawal, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is a UK-based war monitor, was coordinated with Russian forces in the area.

The withdrawal will likely be followed by Russian and regime advances in Tal Abyad in an unspoken agreement between Moscow and Ankara.

Meanwhile, in a sign that Ankara may not have completely abandoned its plans to launch a cross-border military operation against Kurdish forces, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan affirmed his country's determination to connect safe zones in northern Syria soon.

Last May, Turkey announced that it would pursue a full-scale military campaign in northern Syria to complete the establishment of safe zones near its borders. The said zones would extend 30 kilometers deep in Syrian territory.

On Monday, Erdogan threatened to clear northeast Syria from Kurdish-led forces amid an increase in drone attacks and shelling in northeast Syria.

“We will continue our fight against terrorism. Our decision to establish a 30-kilometre-deep secure line along our southern border is permanent,” he told the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.

“I hope we will join the parts of this security zone together soon by clearing the last areas where the terrorist organization is nesting in Syria,” added Erdogan in reference to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Despite Erdogan’s loud rhetoric, Turkey’s plans for a military campaign in Syria remains without international support.

The US, which considers the Kurds a key ally in the war against ISIS in Syria, has warned against any Turkish military move, saying that it would pose a threat to the forces participating in the war against the terror group.

European countries also rejected any new Turkish incursion.

For its part, Russia demanded that Ankara cooperate with Damascus instead of resorting to a military option.

Iran, another backer of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus, declared that any Turkish operation would play out in the interests of terrorists only, and would destabilize the region.

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