Damascus forces surround Turkish army post

24 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

BEIRUT: Syrian government forces surrounded a Turkish military observation post in the northwest on Friday after overrunning neighbouring towns, upping the stakes with Ankara in its Russian-backed offensive against the jihadist-ruled Idlib region, reports AFP.

Ankara vowed on Tuesday that it would not abandon any of 12 observation posts it established in the region under a deal with Damascus ally Moscow last and warned the Syrian government "not to play with fire".

The town of Morek, where the Turkish troops have been cut off, lies in the north of Hama province, part of a jihadist-ruled region centred on neighbouring Idlib province that has been under government assault since late April.

Government forces took control of Morek and other nearby towns including Kafr Zita, state news agency SANA said.

Jihadists and allied rebels had withdrawn from the area ahead of the army's entry into the strategic town of Khan Sheikhoun on Wednesday and government forces took control without resistance.