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Iran Press TV

Turkey dispatches new military convoy to Syria's Idlib, sets up another post: Monitor

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 26 March 2020 5:57 PM

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has dispatched new reinforcements to Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, as Ankara beefs up its military presence in the embattled region following a ceasefire reached earlier this month with Moscow to halt an escalation of violence there.

The Britain-based war monitor, citing activists requesting anonymity, reported that a Turkish convoy, consisting of nearly 35 military vehicles, crossed into the Syrian territory through Kafr Lusin border crossing on Thursday afternoon, and headed towards Turkish positions.

Earlier in the day, a large Turkish military convoy had entered Syrian territories.

The Observatory also noted that Turkish forces have established an observation post in Kafir village, which lies in the Jisr al-Shughur district of Idlib province.

The development took place only a day after a group of unidentified foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants blew up a bridge on the strategically important M4 highway, which connects the city of Saraqib in Idlib to the coastal city of Latakia in Syria's west.

Turkish forces shell Tell Rifaat in northern Aleppo, civilians injured

Separately, Turkish forces have fired a barrage of mortar shells at Tell Rifaat city, located roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Aleppo.

SOHR reported that a number of civilians suffered injuries as a result of the shelling.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on March 13 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 take place on March 15, and that Turkey and Russia will set up joint coordination centers in the area.

The announcement followed a telephone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan the previous day 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.

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