BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – Since the start of November, the Turkish Armed Forces have withdrawn from several areas in northwestern Syria, as they consolidate their troops in the remaining militant-held regions of the country.
According to a field source in the Aleppo Governorate, the Turkish Armed Forces have begun withdrawing from two imperative areas in northwestern Syria: Saraqib and Rashideen 5th.
The source reported that the Turkish Armed Forces have already begun withdrawing their troops and military equipment from these aforementioned areas, putting an end to their months-long presence.
The Turkish Armed Forces have been besieged at these observation posts for months, following the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) large-scale advance across the northwestern part of the country.
Moreover, with virtually nowhere to go at these observation posts, Turkey reached an agreement with their Russian counterparts to withdraw from these areas, a move seen in Damascus as a victory for their forces, especially after Ankara previously claimed they would not abandon these posts under any circumstances.
An army source in Damascus told Al-Masdar that the withdraw comes at an important time when the government is working to reestablish the railroad from Aleppo to Damascus, along with the imperative M-5 Highway (Aleppo-Damascus Highway), which has been out of service for years.
While the move may be celebrated as a victory for Damascus, the Turkish Armed Forces remain a major obstacle inside the country, especially in regards to preventing the Syrian Arab Army from further advancing into areas inside Aleppo and Idlib.
Ankara and Damascus have no diplomatic relations and even their intelligence ties remain strained; however, Russia has proven to be an important partner for both countries, as both countries rely on Moscow to convey messages to one another and prevent hostilities from breaking out.