MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. The Turkish military set up four new observation points in Syria’s Idlib province in a bid to thwart the advancement of the Syrian forces, who chase the retreating terrorists, Riyadh-based Al Ekhbariya TV channel reported Thursday.
According to the report, the Syrian army took position around the strategic city of Saraqib, located on the junction of the Aleppo-Damascus and Aleppo-Latakia highways. On Wednesday, the militants abandoned the city and headed towards northern Idlib area.
Earlier, the Syrian Army Command said in a communique that the Turkish forces took positions on the line between the towns of Binnish, Ma’aret Masrin and Taftanaz. Damascus views Turkish actions as an "attempt to prevent the Syrian Army from completing the destruction of Nusra Front terrorists in Idlib province." The Syrian military claim Turkey supports the militants that fight the government forces.
According to Al Jazeera Thursday report, the Syrian artillery shelled the former military airfield in Taftanaz. Neither Ankara, nor Damascus have yet commented on the shelling.
Idlib is the only Syrian region that remains under militant control since 2012. In 2017, a de-escalation zone was set up there, accommodating militants from other Syrian regions who refused to surrender. There are 12 Turkish observation points set up in the province.
On February 4, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu justified dispatch of military vehicles to Idlib, citing necessity to reinforce the Turkish observation points.