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The New Arab Staff

Turkey withdraws more troops from northwest Syria bases

Turkish troops are patrolling parts of Idlib [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 November, 2020

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Turkey has pulled out of more bases in Syria's Aleppo province, with locals fearing the regime might be planning a new assault.
Turkey continued its withdrawal from more bases in northwest Syria on Tuesday, amid fears of a new offensive by regime forces on opposition areas.

More Turkish troops left the Al-Jabal Qebt and Sheikh Aqil military installations in Aleppo province, both outposts encircled by the Syrian regime.

The soldiers headed for the Aleppo town of Darat Azzaz, which is under the command of Syrian rebel forces.

The recent troop movements follow a general withdrawal by Turkey from outposts outside the control of the opposition, which analysts say is to minimise the risk of clashes with Syrian regime troops.

Pro-Ankara media also dismissed rumours that the withdrawals were agreed with Russia following recent events in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where Ankara is backing the Azerbaijan government against Armenia.

A number of Turkish bases were surrounded by Assad forces following a Russian-backed regime offensive on Idlib ending in March.

Last week, Turkey began its pull-out of the Shir Mighur area in regime-controlled northern Hama.

Turkey currently operates 14 outposts inside Syrian regime-controlled areas in southern Idlib, Aleppo and Hama.

They are in the process of withdrawing from these and establishing new bases in opposition areas, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language service.

One of the new military outposts being established is in southern Idlib's Jabal Al-Zawiya.

Russia and Turkey agreed a ceasefire in March, which ended a bloody regime offensive on northern Hama and southern Idlib.

The assault saw the opposition lose vast amounts of territory and 1 million Syrians made homeless.

Russian airstrikes on opposition Idlib have increased in recent weeks, with residents fearing a new assault on the region is on the cards.

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