Turkey Shutters Seven Syrian Military Posts

Troops relocated, not generally leaving

With much of the surrounding territory lost, Turkey has evacuated seven military posts inside northern Syria, more than half of the 12 posts they’d set up in 2018. That does not mean a reduced military presence, however.

Generally, Turkey has moved troops to the remaining posts, or to bases held by rebel allies elsewhere in the region. The Turkish troop levels are roughly flat across Idlib and Aleppo.

At the start of this, Idlib was rebel-dominated, with huge amount of rebel factions packed in as they lost various other territories around Syria. Turkey negotiated a ceasefire, and put troops there to try to defend the rebels.

But the Turkey-backed rebels got in fights with al-Qaeda, who weren’t part of the ceasefire, and after losing ground to them, the al-Qaeda turned around and lost it to the government. This left the government with a lot of the former rebel territory, and Turkey with posts that no longer made sense to try to keep.

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.