Turkish forces withdraw from bases in northern Syria

Turkish forces have withdrawn from two bases in the western countryside of Tal Abyad, northern Syria, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Tuesday citing sources in the region.

The Turkish troops pulled out of their military bases in the villages of Hareqli and Tannuz, Asharq Al-Awsat said.

They carried out the withdrawal in coordination with Russian forces in the area, Asharq Al-Awsat cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, as reporting.

The Turkish forces are likely to be replaced by Russian and regime forces in Tal Abyad in an unspoken agreement between Moscow and Ankara, Asharq Al-Awsat said.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan keeps saying that his country remains committed to a full-scale military campaign in northern Syria to complete the establishment of safe zones near its borders.

Turkey seeks a 30 kilometres deep safe zone in Syrian territory.

“We will continue our fight against terrorism. Our decision to establish a 30-kilometre-deep secure line along our southern border is permanent,” Erdoğan said on Monday in Ankara.

However, Turkey has not gained international approval for a military campaign in Syria.

The US regards the Kurds in northern Syria as a major ally in the war against ISIS. It says that any Turkish military campaign in the region would pose a threat to the forces fighting the ISIS group.

European countries also defy any new Turkish incursion.

Meanwhile, Russia requests Ankara to cooperate with the Syrian regime rather than launching a military operation.

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