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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey dispatches new reinforcements to Syria's Idlib prior to joint patrols with Russia: SOHR

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 14 March 2020 2:47 PM

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has dispatched a new military convoy to Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib, a day ahead of the first joint patrol by Turkish and Russian troops on the strategic M4 highway and establishment of joint coordination centers in the region.

The Britain-based war monitor, citing activists requesting anonymity, reported on Saturday that a Turkish convoy, consisting of nearly 20 military vehicles, crossed into the Syrian territory through Kafr Lusin border crossing, and headed towards Turkish positions.

The Observatory added that the number of Turkish military units, which have entered Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone ever since a new ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Ankara came into effect in the area last week, has increased dramatically.

It highlighted that the number of Turkish soldiers deployed to northwest Syria since February 2 stands at over 9,350.

On Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the Russian and Turkish militaries had agreed on the details of a new ceasefire in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone following four days of talks in Ankara.

Akar said the first joint patrol by Turkey and Russia on the M4 highway in Idlib would be carried out on March 15, and that Turkey and Russia will set up joint coordination centers in the area.

The announcement followed a March 12 telephone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the implementation of the agreements the two leaders had reached in Moscow the previous week.

"Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the importance of continued close joint efforts, first of all between the Russian and Turkish defense ministries, in order to ensure a stable ceasefire and further stabilization of the situation," a Kremlin press release read.

"It was agreed to maintain a regular dialogue at various levels, including personal contacts," the statement added.

Turkish forces renew rocket attacks on villages in Tal Tamr

Separately, SOHR reported that Turkish military forces and their allied Takfiri militants have renewed rocket attacks against residential areas in the Tal Tamr district of Syria's northeastern province of al-Hasakah.

Local sources said the shelling targeted places in Um al-Khair and al-Tawila villages, causing huge material damage. There were, however, no immediate reports about possible casualties.

Moreover, Turkish forces stationed in al-Daoudia village in the same Syrian province are trying to establish a large military base there, deploying more than 20 tanks as well as heavy military hardware to the region, the report noted.

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