February 7, 2020 / 10:04 AM / 12 days ago

Turkey has no plans to withdraw troops from posts in Syria's Idlib: source

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has no plans to withdraw troops from observation posts in Syria’s northwest Idlib region even though three of the posts are in areas now controlled by the Syrian government, a Turkish security source said on Friday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to drive back Syrian troops in Idlib unless they withdrew by the end of the month, after eight Turkish soldiers were killed on Monday by Syrian government shelling near the town of Saraqeb.

The source said there were “no problems” with Turkish military personnel in Saraqeb and added each of the observation posts in Idlib were equipped to defend themselves.

The source said joint patrols by Turkish and Russian troops in a swathe of northern Syria along Turkey’s border to the east had been postponed due to weather conditions, not over the attacks in Idlib.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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