The Turkish military is preparing to establish new observation posts in Syria’s Idlib, Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition news outlet, reported on August 28 citing a source in Turkish-backed Faylaq al-Sham.
“Turkey is supposed to establish new observation posts west of Saraqib city, the Brick Factory, al-Shabibah camp on Aleppo-Lattakia highway, also a post in the area of Muhambal and a post in the city of Jisr al-Shughur,” Enab Baladi quoted the source as saying.
According to the source, all the positions are located along or near the M4 highway which links the port city of Lattakia, with Aleppo, the country’s industrial hub. A unit of the Turkish military reportedly conducted a reconnaissance mission on the highway on August 28.
Other sources affiliated with Faylaq al-Sham, which is responsible for the security of Turkish troops deployed in Greater Idlib, claimed that the new posts are meant to stop the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advance in the region.
Contrary to these claims, Turkey could be planning to pull its posts out of the demilitarized-zone around Idlib. This may in fact facilitate the SAA advance and even help reopen the M4 highway under the Sohci agreement, reached last year.
Earlier this week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tyyip Erdogan in Moscow, where the two leaders agreed to continue their efforts to find a solution for the situation in Greater Idlib.