The Turkish army has pushed reinforcements to one of its surveillance points in western Hama that has been targeted by the regime more than once since it escalated its bombardment of the northwestern Idlib province.
According to Turkish sources, a convoy of Turkish forces entered the area through Khirbet al-Joz and rural Idlib, heading to the surveillance point at Cher Maghar, which was bombed by the regime on May 4.
Two Turkish soldiers were wounded in the strike. The area was bombed a week later and the regime surrounded it from the west by capturing al-Huwayz town.
The convoy, which consisted of military vehicles and an armored SUV, was sent three days after the entry of another similar convoy from the Kfar Lusin crossing. It included five SUVs equipped with medium machine guns.
Reinforcements from the Turkish army continued to enter the 12 surveillance points in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo villages in recent days.
News reports had said Ankara had withdrawn from this point, but Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stressed Wednesday that his country will not pull out its forces from Idlib in light of the regime escalation in the area.
“Evacuating the surveillance point in Idlib after the regime’s attack is definitely not happening and it will not happen anywhere,” Akar said.
The regime escalation is in violation of a deal reached between Turkey and Russia in Sochi in September 2018.
The agreement called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between opposition- and regime-controlled areas 15 kilometers deep into Idlib and 20 kilometers in the western Hama countryside, disarmament of the opposition’s heavy weapons and the expulsion of terrorist groups from the area.
Moscow has repeatedly accused Turkey of failing to comply with the agreement, particularly in regard to the withdrawal of terrorist elements and forcing them to accept the deployment of Russian military patrols.
Source: Asharq al-Awsat.