On February 14, the Turkish military stepped up its presence around the key town of al-Atarib in the western Aleppo countryside.
Local sources claimed that armored vehicles and commando units of the Turkish Armed Forces were deployed in the town’s center. The sources released videos showing Turkish troops in the vicinity of the town.
While the reports on Turkish deployment in al-Atarib are yet to be verified, it was confirmed that an “observation post” was established north of the town, near the village of Kafr Karmin.
A day earlier, Turkish forces established a post near the town of al-Jeineh in the western Aleppo countryside. The town is located less than 3 km to the west of al-Atarib.
Al-Atarib, one of the biggest urban centers in western Aleppo, could be the next target of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Army units are now situated 4 km to the south of the town.
By establishing posts around al-Atarib and possibly deploying troops inside of it, the Turkish military is clearly trying to keep the SAA away from the town. A similar plan failed to prevent the army from liberating the city of Saraqib in southeast Idlib earlier this month.
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