Politics & Economics

Turkish Forces Bolster Positions, New Observation Points Established

Syria

Since a ceasefire was agreed between Russia and Turkey, two sides have been bolstering their positions in Idleb and Aleppo, with more fortifications and more troops writes Zaman Al-Wasl.

On Thursday, the Turkish army established a new observation point on the strategic M4 highway near Jisr al-Shughour city, according to Zaman Al-Wasl’s reporter.

The new outpost was established in the town of al-Kfayr, west of Idleb city, on the Aleppo-Lattakia highway, known as the M4.

Over the past three weeks, Turkish forces set up six observation points in al-Ghassaneyah, Bidama, al-Najiyeh, and al-Zainiya, al-Misherfah and Tel Khattab, an array of villages located in the Jisr al-Shughour region.

The rapid deployments by both sides, Turkey and the Syrian regime, have been continuing despite a ceasefire deal reached in early March in northwestern Syria.

Local monitors have recorded multiple violations.

On Tuesday, a Syrian military convoy was sent to reinforce regime army bastions in Idleb province, a rebel source told Zaman Al-Wasl.

The regime trucks were carrying 200 troops operating in the 25th Special Missions Division, five tanks and 40 and armored vehicles.

Turkey, which backs rebels opposed to Bashar al-Assad, agreed a ceasefire with Russia three weeks ago after months of fighting displaced nearly 1 million people in Idleb. Moscow supports Syrian regime forces.

The truce halted a terrifying three-month air and ground campaign that killed hundreds and sent 1 million people fleeing toward the Turkish border.

The agreement did not make the Assad forces roll back the significant military gains secured during the Russian-backed offensive — a key Turkish demand prior to the talks.

The regime offensive in Idleb province and parts of Aleppo has displaced more than 1,041,000 people from their homes and killed 700 people, including 91 women, 212 children and 17 rescue workers, over the past three months, the Syrian Response Coordination Group said.

In other relevant development, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have formed a command center in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo province and parts of Idleb.

The joint command room included top commanders of the IRGC, Hezbollah and the Iraqi and Afghan militias.

Additionally, 17 more Iranian outposts were set up in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo and eastern Idleb region. About 2,000 militants and heavy weapons were deployed in the new positions, a rebel commander told Zaman Al-Wasl.

The eight-year-old war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and forced 13 million people from their homes, half of whom have left their shattered homeland.