المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Turkey’s military presence in “de-escalation zone” | Forces Deploy in nearly 65 posts after bringing in about 12 thousand vehicles and ten thousand soldiers, while withdrawing from besieged posts in regime-held areas

The “de-escalation zone”, known as the “Putin-Erdoğan” area, stretching from the north-eastern Latakia mountains to the north-western suburbs of Aleppo through rural Hama and Idlib, is witnessing continuous military movements of Turkish forces, including withdrawals, deployments in new positions, and bringing in new columns loaded with soldiers, military and logistical equipment.

 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights continues monitoring and tracking all these daily movements of Turkish forces in the “de-escalation zone”.

Yesterday, the area witnessed a new development as Turkish forces deployed prefabricated outposts in several locations on the Aleppo-Latakia international road “M4”, particularly near Al-Kefir, south of Jisr al-Shughour, and near Badma al-Za’iniyeh, west of Jisr al-Shughour, and near the end point of joint patrols at the administrative border with Latakia province “Ain al-Hoor” in order to secure the road instead of combing it, as those rejecting the Russian-Turkish agreement keep planting landmines and IEDs. 

It is worth noting that Turkey promised the Russian side to reopen the M4 road a long time ago.

Meanwhile, joint Russian-Turkish patrols have been suspended on the international road since late August 2020, after the two sides conducted more than 26 joint patrols since March to August. The patrols were repeatedly targeted by jihadist groups opposed to the Russian-Turkish agreement.

 

At a time when Turkish forces continue withdrawing from besieged posts in the Syrian regime-held areas in the “de-escalation zone”, they are deploying regularly in new locations.

 

The deployments are mainly concentrated in Jabal al-Zawiya in southern countryside of Idlib, particularly in towns and villages on frontlines with regime forces, as well as in strategic posts that enable Turkish forces to monitor the area.

 

The new deployments come as Turkish forces bring in, almost daily, dozens of vehicles carrying military and logistical materials and soldiers, which enter via Kafr Losien border crossing with Iskenderun region, north of Idlib, as part of large Turkish reinforcement in the region through thousands of soldiers and vehicles.

 

According to SOHR statistics, the number of Turkish posts in the “de-escalation zone” has reached 64 posts, and they are as follows: (1) Salwah, (2) Qalaat Samaan, (3) Sheikh Oqail, (4) Tallat Al-Eis, (5) Tallat Al-Tuqan, (6) Sarman, (7) Jabal Anadan, (8) Al-Zaytunah, (9) Qoqfin, (10) the southern Al-Rashideen, (11) Shir Mghar, (12) Ishtabrak as well as other posts recently set up in (13) Anadan, (14) Al-Rashideen, (15) Maar Hattat, (16) Saraqeb, (17) Al-Tarnabah, (18) Al-Nayrab, (19) Al-Mughir, (20) Qumaynas, (21) Sarmin, (22) Taftanaz, (23) Maarrat Al-Na’san, (24) Maarrat Masrin, (25) Al-Jinah, (26) Kafr Karmin, (27) Al-Tawwamah, (28) the 111th Regiment, (29) Al-Mastumah camp, (30) Tramnin, (31) Al-Atarib and (32) Darat Izza, (33) Bardaqli, (34) Nahlaya, (35) Mu’taram, (36) Basnqul, (37) Al-Nabi Ayyoub, (38) Bazabur, (39) Batabu, (40) Kafr Nuran, (41) Ram Hamadan, and (42) Al-Jinah, (43) Besanqoul, (44) Al-Mshirfa, (45) Tal Khattab, (46) Bdama, (47) Al-Najiya, (48) Al-Za’iniya, (49) Al-Ghassaniyah and (50) Al-Kufayr, (51) Bernas, (52) Bdama, (53) Ariha, (54) Jannat Al-Qura, (55) Bsames, (56) Nabi Ayoub hill, (57) Al-Qiyasat, (58) an area near Basanqoul, (59) Marayan, (60) Ma’ratah, (61) Mantaf, (62) Al-Ruwayha, (63) Al-Jineh, (64) Tal Arqam and many more.

 

The number of military vehicles entered Syrian territory since the start of the new ceasefire has reached 8,000 in addition to 10,000 Turkish soldiers.

 

From February 2 to date, the number of Trucks and military vehicles that arrived in “de-escalation zone” has risento more than 11,500 Turkish trucks and military vehicles carrying tanks, personnel carriers, armoured vehicles and mobile bulletproof guard booths and military radars.

 

The Syrian Observatory would like to point out that the number of vehicles and soldiers mayvary marginally, as many vehicles, loaded with soldiers and military and logistical equipment, enter and exit individually.

The Syrian Observatory highlighted all Turkish withdrawals from observation posts in areas annexed recently by regime forces, as out of 12 main Turkish posts in north-western Syria region, Turkish forces completely evacuated the following seven posts:

  • Murek and Shir Mghar in Hama countryside
  • Anadan, Al-Rashideen, Al-Eiss and Sheikh Aqeel in Aleppo countryside
  • Al-Saraman in Idlib countryside.

Meanwhile, Turkish forces continue withdrawing from Al-Tuqan post in Idlib countryside, as troops stationed there are packing up and dismantling equipment. The post is expected to be evacuated in the next few hours and days.

Accordingly, Turkish forces have completely withdrawn from all main besieged posts in regime-held areas, except for Al-Tuqan post, from which they continue to withdraw in batches.

While there were four other main Turkish posts out of regime-controlled areas, and they are as follows:

  • Ishtabraq in the west of Jisr Al-Shughur
  • Al-Zaytounah in Jabal Al-Turkman
  • Salwah in the northern countryside of Idlib
  • Qalla’at Sam’an in the western countryside of Aleppo.

As for the recently-established Turkish posts, SOHR activists reported that Turkish forces completely withdrew from the following four posts: Maar Hattat and Al-Sena’a in the east of Saraqeb in rural Idlib, Al-Kurani factory in Al-Zarbah, and Qubaytan Al-Jabal in Aleppo countryside. Furthermore, Turkish forces continued dismantling equipment in Al-Duwayr post in northern Saraqeb in preparations to evacuate it.

It is worth noting that Turkish forces are still stationed in several posts established recently in regime-controlled areas, including the grain warehouse in the south of Saraqeb, Al-Sayromat factory in northern Saraqeb, Tarnabeh in western Saraqeb, and another post in Aleppo countryside near Kafr Halab.

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