Turkey supposedly ended Operation Euphrates Shield, its military mission in northern Syria, March 29. But instead of withdrawing its troops, Ankara actually expanded its military activities between Azaz and al-Bab. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Turkey has a new plan for the area.
Last week, convoys of tanks, artillery and armored vehicles crossed from Kilis in Turkey to Syria and deployed in the areas of Azaz, Marea and Tel Rifaat. This reinforcement activity is likely to continue. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had already established bases at Marea, Tuwais, Kel Jibril and Dabik during Euphrates Shield.
Though pointing to Idlib as the next destination, Turkey’s field operations signal double objectives.