Turkey sends military equipment to Idlib

At least 430 units of Turkish military equipment have been redeployed to Idlib province, where the Syrian army is advancing on the rebels.
The Turkish army has significantly increased its presence in the Syrian province of Idlib. At least 430 units of Turkish military equipment have been redeployed to the region in northern Syria in the past 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Saturday, February 8.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Syrian army had captured the strategically important town of Seraqib in Idlib. A Syrian state TV channel showed footage showing the empty streets of Seraquib, which was destroyed after weeks of bombing with the support of the Russian Air Force.

According to SOHR, the Syrian army has also captured the entire section of the M5 highway in Idlib, which links the capital Damascus with Syria’s second-largest city, Aleppo. Only 30 km from the M5 in the neighboring province of Aleppo has now been left to regain control of the entire motorway.

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Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Turkey has supported Syrian rebels. In 2015, Russia sided with President Bashar al-Assad. As a result, Assad managed to turn the tide of the civil war in his favor. Now the Syrian army, backed by Russian airpower, is conducting a large-scale offensive against the militias in Idlib.

On February 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ultimatum demanded that Damascus withdraw troops in Idlib province by the end of February from Turkish observation posts. If The Syrian soldiers do not do so, the Turkish army will expel them, Erdogan said. In January, Erdogan accused Russia of violating agreements on Syria.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian airpower, is conducting a large-scale offensive against the militias in Idlib, which are supported by Turkey. On 3 February, violent clashes broke out between Syrian and Turkish soldiers in the region, killing more than 20 people.

More than 580,000 civilians have fled Idlib since the beginning of December to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.