Turkey Withdraws From Outposts in Northern Syria

Two posts in Aleppo Province closed under general order

Turkey has continued to withdraw forces from some of its smaller outposts in military bases in northern Syria, this time shuttering two outposts in Aleppo Province, and relocating the troops in the town of Darat Azzaz, a town held by Turkish-backed rebels.

This is a part of a general order in Turkey which is closing a lot of posts in Aleppo and Idlib, and which is reportedly intended to shift away from contested areas and reduce the risk of direct fighting with the Syrian military.

This reflects the loss of territory by the Turkish rebels, as those posts were in areas they controlled at one point. Rebel losses to al-Qaeda, and subsequent al-Qaeda losses to Syria’s military, have put a lot of these posts well outside Turkish sphere of influence.

The rebels aren’t happy with this shift, as they saw Turkey’s presence as a sign that they could still claim the regions lost long ago. So much territory is now in government military hands they view the rebels as almost irrelevant, beyond Turkey sticking around, and this should indeed reduce the risk of fighting.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.