On February 7, a unit of the Turkish Army entered Idlib governorate and conducted a reconnaissance mission along the Aleppo-Hama highway in the southeastern Idlib countryside, according to Syrian oppositions sources. The Turkish Army unit also visited the city of Saraqib, which is located on the highway.
Syrian opposition activists say that the Turkish Army is preparing to establish more observation posts along the Aleppo-Hama highway. Some sources even argue that the Turkish Army is planning to establish an airfield in the Taftanaz airbase, 10km north of Saraqib.
Tukey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on February 7 that Turkey and Russia had agreed to establish twelve observation posts inside Syria during the Astana talks. One day later, the Turkish Army established a new observation post in the town of al-Eis in the southwestern Aleppo countryside.
Since the establishment of the Turkish observation post in al-Eis, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has launched two attacks at positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) south of the town. So, many Syrian pro-government activists doubted that the Turkish Army will be able to control the situation around its observation posts.
Syrian sources believe that the SAA and its allies will not hesitate to launch attacks against HTS and its allies in Idlib governorate if the Turkish Army fails to impose a real de-escalation zone in the militant-held areas.