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Turkey says will not evacuate posts in Syria's Idlib

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar arrives for a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (not pictured) as part of a NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium October 25, 2019. Virginia Mayo/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) - It is “out of the question” for Turkey to evacuate its military observation posts in Syria’s Idlib, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday, after Russian and Syrian forces intensified their bombardment of targets in the northwestern province.

Turkey has 12 such posts in Idlib, and at home it hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world. It fears another wave from the region, where up to 3 million Syrians live in the last significant rebel-held swathe of territory after a nearly nine year civil war.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture Idlib, prompting a recent wave of refugees towards Turkey’s border.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer