The Turkish military is steadily expanding its network of observation posts in the militant-held parts of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. Recently, Turksih forces have established an observation post in the village of Zawiya to monitor the de-escalation zone in northwestern Hama and have started preparations to set up an observation post in the village of Eshtabraq in northwestern Idlib.
According to pro-Damascus sources, the Turkish military is going to use these points to prevent further military operations by the Syrian Army against militants in western Syria. Pro-government analysts have repeatedly pointed out that Ankara and its proxies have contributed almost no efforts to eliminate units of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Branch of al-Qaeda) in this area.
On the other hand, Turkey says that these observation posts are established in the framework of agreements reached during the Astana talks in order to monitor the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Earlier this week, reports appeared that Turkey, Iran and Russia had agreed to re-open the Hama-Aleppo and Afrin-Aleppo highways. However, these reports still have to be confirmed.