The Turkish military had established a new position in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on January 8.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the position was built in the eastern district of the town of Afes in the southern countryside of Idlib. At least 35 Turkish service members and four armored personnel carriers were deployed at the new position.
Afes is located 2,5 kilometers to the north of the M4 highway, which links the industrial city of Aleppo with the port Lattakia, and some 3 km to the west of the M5 highway that links Aleppo with the capita, Damascus.
The new position will allow Turkish forces to keep an eye on the M5 highway which was opened by Syrian government forces and its allies with force around two years ago.
The Turkish military has been expanding its presence in Greater Idlib, while ignoring its commitments under the 5 March 2020 ceasefire agreement with Russia.
Turkey’s views its large military presence in Greater Idlib as a mean to deter Syrian government forces and their allies. Terrorist groups in the region, first and foremost al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, have been benefiting greatly from the protection provided by Turkish forces.