Russian-Turkish agreement | Turkish forces start evacuating three military posts in regime-controlled areas in Aleppo and Idlib countryside • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Russian-Turkish agreement | Turkish forces start evacuating three military posts in regime-controlled areas in Aleppo and Idlib countryside

Reliable sources have told SOHR that Turkish forces started to evacuate three besieged military posts in regime-held areas. The three posts are Al-Saraman base in east Idlib countryside, Khan Tuman base in the southern countryside of Aleppo, and Al-Rashideen base in the western countryside of Aleppo. it is worth noting that the Turkish forces are redeployed in positions in Jabal Al-Zawiyah in the southern countryside of Idlib.


Yesterday, Observatory activists monitored several trucks carrying military and logistical supplies leaving the Turkish post in Al-Rashideen area on the outskirts of Aleppo city, heading to Al-Atareb area in the western countryside of Aleppo. This development comes more than ten days after dismantling the base’s equipment, in preparation to evacuate the base like the other bases in regime-controlled areas.


In the past few days and weeks, SOHR activists monitored successive developments in the “de-escalation zone”, the most prominent of which was the Turkish forces’ pull-out from several Turkish observation and military posts in regime-controlled areas in Hama countryside in mid-October, which followed by consecutive pull-outs from several posts in Idlib and Aleppo. The Turkish forces later repositioned in rebel controlled areas in Jabal Al-Zawiyah overlooking Aleppo-Damascus international highway (M5), as a part of the Russian-Turkish agreement stipulating for the withdrawal of Turkish forces from their posts which had come under the control of the Russian and regime forces. Meanwhile, the Turkish forces refuse to hand over the rest of observation posts to the Russian and regime forces, although they handed over Murek post nearly two months ago.


In mid-October, SOHR sources monitored Turkish forces disassembling the observation post in Murek, which was the largest Turkish military post in northern Hama, in preparation for leaving it. Civilian trucks entered to transport the base’s equipment to areas under the control of HTS and factions in Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib countryside.


Meanwhile, regime forces targeted these trucks as they entered areas under their control in the village of Al-Tarnaba near the city of Saraqeb on the Damascus-Aleppo international road “M4”, killing a truck driver.


Turkish forces withdrew completely from Murek post in early November, after being established for nearly 30 months, since April 2018.


In the meantime, Turkish troops stationed at the 11th post in the village of Sher Maghar in Jabal Shahshbo, northwest of Hama province, were preparing to evacuate it, similar to the observation post in Murek, while Turkish forces stayed at this post. It is worth nothing that Turkish forces were stationed at Sher Maghar post on June 14, 2018.


Turkish forces continued their withdrawals from their observation posts within the Syrian regime-controlled areas, last November, dismantling their equipment from the observation post in western Aleppo countryside between Sheikh Aqeel and Qubattan al-Jabal, transporting them to al-Atareb area in western Aleppo countryside.


During the first 10 days of November, a large Turkish columns, which had gathered at Ma’r Hatat post in regime-controlled areas in Idlib countryside on the Damascus-Aleppo international road, withdrew to the Turkish military airbase of Taftanaz. SOHR sources reported that Turkish forces had completely evacuated the Ma’r Hatat post, while the post was not been entered by regime forces.


In accordance with the Russian-Turkish agreement, which required the withdrawal of Turkish forces from posts in regime-held areas in Aleppo, Idlib and Hama, SOHR activists monitored the withdrawal of Turkish forces, on November 26, from one of its military posts in Al-Sina’a neighbourhood, east of Saraqeb city. Turkish forces were seen heading towards their positions near the village of Al-Ruwayh in Jabal al-Zawiya, south of Idlib.


On the other hand, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored Turkey’s attempts to set up military posts near the “M5” road in high areas overlooking the city of Ma’rat al-Numan and a short distance away from regime forces stationed there.


In early November, Turkish forces set up two military posts in the town of Al-Bara and Deir Sanbel in Jabal al-Zawiya, which overlooks the city of Ma’rat al-Numan and its eastern countryside, south of Idlib, along with withdrawals from rural Hama and Idlib,.


On November 20, Turkish forces set up a military post in the village of Billioon in Jabal al-Zawiya, and another one in Tel Al-Marqab, 48 hours after setting up Billioon post in Idlib countryside.


Turkish forces redeployed their troops and sent more military reinforcements to the “de-escalation zone”, while uncertainty surrounded the working mechanisms of the following phase of the Russian-Turkish understandings on Idlib, the home to some three million displaced people, half of whom living in refugee camps near the border with the Iskenderun region in the north of the province.