The Turkish Armed Forces have evacuated one of their last two observation posts within government-held territory in northwestern Syria.
The post in question is located near the town of Tell Touqan in southern Idlib. Ruptly released on January 13 footage of Turkish troops withdrawing from the post along with their equipment. A unit of the Russian Military Police escorted the departing troops.
Turkish troops began evacuating from the Tell Touqan post and a second post located at al-Eis Hilltop in western Aleppo last month. Now, al-Eis is Turkey’s last post in government-held areas.
While Turkey is evacuating its posts in government-held areas, it is boosting its military presence in the militant-held part of northwestern Syria, known as Greater Idlib. Most of the new posts were established in the al-Zawiya Mount in the southern part of the region.
Under an agreement with Russia reached last March, Turkish troops had to reopen the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, M4, and neutralize terrorist groups in Greater Idlib. These commitments have not been fulfilled yet.
The recent surge in militants’ ceasefire violations and Turkey’s unwillingness to take action may soon force Damascus and its allies to take matter into their own hands.
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