Turkish forces patrol observation point in northern Syria

Turkish forces were spotted patrolling an observation point in the northern countryside of Hama province on Sunday, a war monitor reported.

The Turkish unit conducted its patrol from the Turkish observation point in the town of Morek in the northern countryside of the central Hama province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The UK-based war monitor said the Turkish unit headed to the city of Khan Sheikhoun in the countryside of the nearby northwestern province of Idlib.

This comes as the Syrian government forces were bombarding the positions of the rebels in the countryside of Idlib, said the Observatory, which claimed that the intensive shelling killed 45 people over the past five days.

On the other side, the state news agency SANA said that the rebels were violating the de-escalation zones’ deal brokered by Turkey and Russia about the situation in Idlib and the nearby countryside of Hama.

It said the rebels are attempting to infiltrate areas controlled by the government forces continuously.

It added that the rebels are also shelling the government-controlled areas in Hama, killing five people and wounding 14 others in the city of Masyaf in the western countryside of Hama on Sunday.

The tense situation is expected to usher in a wide-scale offensive by the Syrian government forces to retrieve Idlib following the failure of the de-escalation zones’ deal, under which the ultra-radical rebels were supposed to leave Idlib which didn’t happen.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said this last week that the Syrian government’s patience is running out about the presence of the rebels in Idlib.

He noted that the Russian allies are saying that Turkey is determined to make the de-escalation zones’ deal a success.