Turkey refuses to withdraw military equipment from Idlib

Turkey refuses to withdraw military equipment from Idlib

Ankara refused to withdraw military equipment from the Syrian province of Idlib. This is reported by The Anadolu Agency on Twitter, citing sources in the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Turkish observation posts continue to operate in the Idlib de-escalation zone, the statement said. Ankara officials have not yet confirmed the information. The same statement was made by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on March 12. He warned that the Turkish military would continue to strike Syrian government positions if the ceasefire in Idlib was violated.

On March 5, Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement under which a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the U.S. and Turkish militaries did not leave the country, Damascus would be able to use force.

The reason for the Russian-Turkish high-level talks was a sharp escalation of the situation in Idlib, where in January the Large-scale offensive of the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began. Government forces recaptured almost half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind a number of Turkish observation posts. Since then, Ankara has dramatically increased its military presence in the region and launched Operation Spring Shield to push back Syrian troops. Turkey is also backed by militants loyal to it.

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