Turkish forces will withdraw from the last two observation posts besieged by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Greater Idlib, several pro-government and opposition sources reported on December 16.
The posts, which are located near the town of Tell Touqan in southern Idlib and on al-Eis hilltop in western Aleppo, are both being evacuated.
“The evacuation process began today, Wednesday, December 16,” a source told the Jesr Press. “Turkish forces initially headed to the village of Maarat al-Naasan in the western countryside of Aleppo.”
Al-Eis’ hilltop, which rises 365m above sea level, overlooks a long strip of the M5 highway which links Syria’s industrial hub, Aleppo city, with the country’s capital, Damascus.
Last week, Turkish forces withdrew from four observation posts between southern Idlib and western Aleppo, all were located along the M5 highway,
While Turkish is evacuating the posts besieged by the SAA and its allies, it is working to build a new series of posts in Greater Idlib. The new posts are located south of the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, known as the M4.
The limited Turkish withdrawal shows that Ankara fears a new confrontation in Greater Idlib. A confrontation in which Turkish posts will not spared the fight.