ANKARA (Reuters) - It is “out of the question” for Turkey to evacuate its military observation posts in Syria’s Idlib, Defense 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 toward Turkey’s border.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer