BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:10 P.M.) – The Syrian expert on armed groups, Omar Rahmon, said in an interview this past weekend that Turkey’s recent withdrawal of some of its observation points in northern Syria comes in light of its preparations for a new battle with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Rahmon explained during an interview with Sputnik Arabic that “Turkey, after a long delay, abruptly committed itself to what it signed with the Moscow agreement in March 2019, as it withdrew all its points besieged by the Syrian army in the areas it liberated during the recent military operations in the Idlib Governorate at the end of 2019, and at the beginning of this year, 2020.”
The expert said that “whoever knows Turkey and its way of thinking, and what it and the armed groups have done in northern Syria, is sure that they will withdraw these points, not in compliance with the agreements they signed in Moscow, Astana and Sochi, but with the aim of evacuating the areas from the besieged Turkish points that may be pressured by the Syrian Army later in case Ankara decides to launch a new battle in the north.”
He stressed, “We have seen two things recently, which are Turkey’s withdrawal of the checkpoints and repositioning them in Jabal al-Zawiya, which it controls with the armed militias supported by it. The second thing is the introduction of new military equipment and machinery from the illegal (Kafr Lousen) crossing, which is controlled by the Al-Nusra Front organization and Faylaq Al-Sham, which is affiliated with the Turkish army in Idlib.”
Rahmon said that “all these moves confirm that Turkey has not withdrawn these points in compliance with the agreements, but rather with the aim of clearing the arena and making room for a new battle that is being prepared for it in post-U.S. President Donald Trump, and the arrival of the new president, Joe Biden, who will provide support to the terrorist Al-Nusra Front and the rest of the armed groups allied with it through Turkey. ”
Ankara had recently taken a decision to withdraw most of its points besieged by the Syrian government forces in the countrysides of Hama and Idlib in several stages, as it notified the Russian side and coordinated with it, and worked on preparing areas in the town of Qafin in the southern Idlib countryside, which has a strategic geographic location overlooking areas in Jabal Al-Zawiya all the way to the Al-Ghab Plain, with the aim of establishing new points in it.