Turkey reinforces military presence in Syria’s Idlib region during ceasefire: monitor

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Fighters from the Jaysh al-Izza (the Army of Glory), affiliated with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, take part in a training session in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on April 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / OMAR HAJ KADOUR

Turkey has bolstered its military presence in Syria’s Idlib region since a ceasefire came into effect in early March, a war monitor reported.

Sources told the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) that Turkish forces brought in new military and logistical reinforcements to their positions in the de-escalation zone on Monday.

A convoy of 25 vehicles carrying equipment and fuel entered by way of the Kafr Losin border crossing with Turkey’s İskenderun province, heading toward Turkish positions in the area.

A total of 3,160 military vehicles have entered Syrian territory since the start of the new ceasefire in addition to thousands of Turkish soldiers.

From Feb. 2 to date, the number of trucks and military vehicles that arrived in the de-escalation zone has risen to more than 6,565, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and vehicles and carrying mobile bulletproof guard booths and military radar.

Some 10,300 Turkish soldiers were deployed in Idlib and Aleppo during this period.

At a high-level meeting in Moscow on March 6, Turkey and Russia agreed to a ceasefire between Ankara-backed rebel groups and Syrian government troops in Idlib.

Prior to the ceasefire, Turkey had lost dozens of soldiers in an attack by Russian-backed forces.

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