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Turkish Defense Minister Visits Syria’s Border As Erdogan’s Deadline On Idlib Ends

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In the early hours of March 1, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar paid a visit to the border with Syria, where he inspected Turkish forces.

The Turkish defense minister was accompanied by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler, Commander of the Land Forces Gen. Umit Dundar and Commander of the Air Forces Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz.

In an official statement, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense said Akar visited a Tactical Command Center. The minister was informed of the operations being carried out by Turkish troops, artillery, rocket launchers and drones in Syria’s Greater Idlib.

Akar’s visit came amid the end of the Turkish deadline for the withdrawal of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from the areas it recently liberated in Greater Idlib. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set the deadline last month, vowing to take a military action if the SAA ignore his demands.

Erdogan later stepped down his threats by demanding a 30-35 km safe zone in northern Idlib. In the same time, he stepped up his military support for the remaining militants in the Syrian region.

The Turkish military may launch a large operation in Greater Idlib in the upcoming few days to enforce the demands of Erdogan. However, such a move could lead to a war with Syria, and much tension with its allies.

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