On April 19, the Turkish military established yet another “observation post” in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The post was reportedly established in the area of al-Ram, next to the town of Bassams in the southern countryside of Idlib. The area is located south of the strategic M4 highway, which links the coastal city of Lattakia with Aleppo city, the country’s industrial hub.
According to the London-based Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Turkish military has established 59th posts in Greater Idlib.
These posts, which were supposedly established to “observe” the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, are in fact fortified military positions. Each post hosts dozens of Turkish troops. Heavy weapons, including artillery and rocket launchers, are also deployed in many of them.
Turkey had to reopen the M4 under the March 5 agreement with Russia. The establishment of new posts near the highway could help to facilitate this goal. However, it remains unclear if Ankara is planning to respect its commitment, or if it is preparing for a new confrontation with Syrian government forces.