Turkey pulls out from military post in Syria - report

Turkey is removing troops from a military post in northwestern Syria that was encircled by Syrian government forces last year, Reuters said on Monday, citing sources familiar with the operation.

“The dismantling of the base has begun,” Reuters cited a senior Syrian opposition figure close to Turkey as saying.

“The Turkish armed forces are not considering evacuating another observation post at this stage,” another source said.

Turkey has 12 observation posts in the last Syrian rebel stronghold Idlib as a part of a Turkish-Russian deal signed in 2018. The agreement establishes a de-escalation zone to prevent fighting in the province, which is home to nearly three million people.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, with backing from Moscow, launched a military offensive in April last year after the jihadi group Tahir al-Sham extended the territories it controlled in Idlib and started targeting neighbouring provinces. During the operation, Syrian forces took control of nearby towns and effectively cut off Turkish troops at the military post near the town of Morek.