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Turkish Defence Ministry to Minimise Troop Movements in Syria Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Turkish Defenсe Ministry has ordered to minimise the movement of its military in Syria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to the coronavirus epidemic, a decision has been made to minimise the troops’ movements in the zones of military operations in Syria if it is not essential”, the Ministry said.

The Turkish military, which operates 12 observation posts in Idlib to monitor a 2018 de-escalation agreement, intervened in early February to push back Syrian troops who had been trying to recapture Idlib Province since mid-December.

On 5 March, Russia and Turkey managed to implement a ceasefire in Syria to stop the fighting in the area, also establishing a security corridor that runs six kilometres (3.7 miles) north and south of the strategically important M4 highway, connecting the provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.

Under the ceasefire agreement, Moscow and Ankara conduct joint patrols along the M4 highway, which is currently controlled by militants.