Turkish forces are preparing to withdraw from a third observation post in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, several media sources reported on November 7.
The post in question is located near the town of Maar Hattat in southern Idlib, right on the M5 highway that links the capital, Damascus, with Aleppo city. The post was besieged by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in January.
Turkish troops are reportedly evacuating Maar Hattat post and dismantling the equipment and fortifications that were installed there.
Maar Hattat is the third observation post in Greater Idlib to be evacuated by Turkish forces. The evacuated first post was located near the town of Murak in northern Hama. The second was in the town of Shir Mughar in northwestern Hama.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey established more than 60 posts in Greater Idlib between 2018 and 2020.
These posts were originally established to “observe” the ceasefire in Greater Idlib. However, Turkey deployed heavily-armed troops in the posts, turning them into combat positions.
The withdrawal of Turkish troops from some of the post may be a step meant to facilitate a new agreement on Greater Idlib. The region, which was infested with terrorist groups, is still far from stable.
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