Turkey to minimise troop movements in Syria citing virus concern

The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Sunday it would minimise its troop movements in Syria as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"A regulation that allows our troops to enter and exit operation areas in Syria only with the permission of the army commander is prepared, thus the movement of staff and troops is minimised, unless it is mandatory," a ministry spokesman told a press conference.

Doctors have been sent to Syria to conduct medical training on COVID-19, he said.

Turkey has a military presence in parts of northern Syria and deployed additional troops and equipment in the northwestern province of Idlib after a Russia-backed Syrian government attack killed dozens of Turkish soldiers there in February.