Turkey to abandon some observation stations in Syria’s Idlib

Withdrawal comes as Russians hinder resupply efforts and Damascus stokes protests against Turkish presence

Turkey has decided to abandon some of its military positions in Syria’s Idlib province, including observation stations established under a deal with Russia, Middle East Eye can reveal.

Turkey set up 12 ceasefire observation stations in and around Idlib following a 2017 agreement that warded off a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive that threatened to collapse rebel rule in the province and force millions of refugees to the Turkish border.

However two people familiar with the decision told MEE that the Turkish military will now withdraw from four observation stations and two military sites that were surrounded by Syrian government forces earlier this year during a fresh assault on the rebel-held province.

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“The observation stations are in the areas that are hard to defend in the current predicament, such as Morek and Shir Maghar,” one of the people said. “The military sites are near Saraqeb”.

Read more: Middle East Eye