Turkey Strengthens Military Presence at Contact Points with Syrian Regime Forces

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirms the entry of Turkish military convoys into about 20 towns and villages in the Idlib countryside and surrounding areas

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that Turkish forces are working to strengthen their positions in areas under their control and close to the front lines with Syrian regime forces in the Idlib countryside. This is believed to be part of implicit agreements between Ankara and Moscow, the main supporter of the Syrian forces.

The Observatory reported that Turkish forces are reinforcing their presence in areas they had occupied during previous military operations in anticipation of potential battles following significant preparations by Syrian regime forces, supported by Russian forces, which have recently launched extensive bombardments in the region.

It was explained that the Turkish army has established a new defensive line on most of the combat axes in the eastern Idlib countryside. These areas are contact points between Turkish forces and Syrian forces backed by the Russian side.

The reinforcements, consisting of around 40 military vehicles, have reached about 20 towns and villages, in addition to the construction of earthen berms and trenches to protect supply lines and main roads against a potential surprise attack by the Syrian army and its militia allies, supported by the Russian army.

The Syrian Observatory, based on its data, mentioned that the Syrian regime has also sent military convoys this month, including 18 military and logistical vehicles to the al-Zawiya area, and transferred a batch of missile systems (Buk, and Tochka) to points and gatherings of regime forces in Idlib, according to a dispatch to the commands of al-Tabqa military airport in the Raqqa countryside and Serin in the Aleppo countryside.

In contrast, Turkish forces have brought advanced electronic jamming systems to points stationed in the Idlib countryside to counter the suicide drones used extensively by the Syrian army and its supporters. Additionally, 22 military vehicles, including armored vehicles and tanks, have been sent to Jabal al-Zawiya.

These developments come amid information published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights regarding a secret meeting held between Turkish and Russian officers in Tal Abyad to discuss field developments and avoid any military escalation in the area.

Turkey had entered into severe disagreements with Russia after Russian forces intervened to support Syrian forces in 2015. The tension reached significant levels after Ankara shot down a Russian warplane, but the tension was later contained, and negotiations commenced alongside the military victories achieved by Syrian forces in several areas.

These developments occur despite a period of calm in the region and after a year of Turkey attempting to normalize relations with the Syrian regime, which was met with great concern by the factions loyal to Turkey.

After the Turkish presidency submitted a memorandum to parliament last year, requesting the extension of the Turkish army’s presence in both Syria and Iraq for an additional two years, the Syrian regime expressed its anger over this move, reiterating its demand for the withdrawal of Turkish forces, considering them occupation forces.

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