Turks remove observation post from Damascus Aleppo highway

The Turkish military has removed an observation post blocking the M5 highway in Greater Idlib, several pro-government sources reported on March 13.

Ahmad Srjawi, a journalist in the Syrian state TV, released a photo from the area where the Turkish post was stationed. The journalist said the M5 is now fully open.

The Turkish post was located next to the town of Maar Hattat, 7 km to the south of the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man in the southern Idlib countryside.

Syrian authorities reopened the M5 highway, which links Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, for civilian traffic last week. However, the Turkish post was forcing the travelers to take a side route, increasing the distance.

The removal of Maar Hattat post was likely a part of the recent Russian-Turkish agreement on Greater Idlib. Reopening all highways in northwest Syria was a key part of the agreement that was finalized in Moscow on March 5.