Erdogan: Turkey will drive Syrian forces back from Idlib posts this week

Turkey set up 12 observation posts up around a ‘de-escalation zone’ in Idlib under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran. (AFP)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Erdogan: Turkey will drive Syrian forces back from Idlib posts this week

  • ‘We are planning to liberate our observation posts from the surrounding (Syrian government forces) by the end of this month, one way or another’
  • Turkey set up 12 observation posts up around a ‘de-escalation zone’ in Idlib under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran

ANKARA: Turkey plans to push Syrian government forces away from its military observation posts in northwest Syria’s Idlib region by end-February, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, despite advances by the Russian-backed government forces.
Erdogan said he hoped the issue of using air space in Idlib will be resolved soon. Russia controls the region’s air space and has been bombing Turkey-backed rebels on a daily basis in support of an offensive by the Syrian government forces.
“We are planning to liberate our observation posts from the surrounding (Syrian government forces) by the end of this month, one way or another,” Erdogan told his party’s MPs in a speech.
Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military seized the town of Nairab in Idlib this week, according to rebel and Turkish sources, but Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces continue to made advances elsewhere in the province.
Erdogan first said on Feb. 5 that Assad’s forces must pull back behind a line of Turkish observation posts by end-February, or Turkey would drive them back.
Turkey set up 12 observation posts up around a “de-escalation zone” in Idlib under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran, but several are now behind Syrian government front lines.


Abu Dhabi extends ban on events, wedding parties

Updated 1 min 26 sec ago

Abu Dhabi extends ban on events, wedding parties

  • Abu Dhabi has announced on March 19 the temporary suspension of all events, nightclubs and wedding parties

DUBAI: Bans on all events and wedding parties in Abu Dhabi will be extended until further notice, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.

Abu Dhabi has also extended the suspension of tour services and activities linked to sea cruises, desert camps and safaris as well as floating restaurants until further notice.

Abu Dhabi has announced on March 19 the temporary suspension of all events, nightclubs and wedding parties, as part of the country’s efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Routine checks and inspections will be carried out in all hotel and tourism facilities, nightclubs and floating restaurants, the government said. Those who violate the instructions will be subject to legal measures.

The UAE announced 240 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,264.

The health ministry also announced the death of a 51-year-old Asian man who had underlying health problems, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus to nine.