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April 28, 2020

Russian-Turkish Tensions Lead Türkiye to Withdraw from Some Regime Areas

Turkish forces in NW Syria are preparing to withdraw from Morek and Sher Maghar, in the western countryside of Hama, "as they no longer serve their purpose.” Forces withdrawn from regime-controlled areas will be repositioned in Jabal al-Zawiya.

Turkish officials stated previously that regime forces must withdraw from areas surrounding Turkish observation posts or Turkish troops will remove them by force, raising hopes among civilians displaced from these areas about being able to return to their communities.

The withdrawal comes after tensions with Russia, who demanded Türkiye withdraw its forces from areas in southern Idlib and western Hama which were captured by the regime during its latest offensive. Russia demanded also that Türkiye withdraw forces from areas south of the M4.

The withdrawal was supposed to start early on 18 October, but was postponed with no reason or time frame offered by Türkiye. But it has been confirmed that Turkish forces in Morek and Sher Maghar have started dismantling equipment and installments in those observation posts.

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