Israeli soldiers gather on November 20, 2019 near the settlement Merom Golan in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, seized from Syrian in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. - The Israeli army carried out a

Turkish troops have begun to withdraw from a key observation point in Syria’s Hama province, a monitoring group and activists in the area told dpa on Tuesday.

“Turkish troops started since early Tuesday their withdrawal from the largest observation point in Mork, in the countryside of Hama, which is one of dozens which were established in north-west Syria since 2018,” Rami Abdel Rahman, Head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told dpa.

“From 12 key Turkish observation points, 8 now lie in areas controlled by the Syrian regime,” he said.

Mork is in a government-controlled area. Abdel Rahman said the withdrawal was part of a ceasefire agreement Turkey made with Russia in March, which halted fighting between the Moscow-backed Syrian government troops and Turkish-allied rebels.

Activists said Turkish troops will also withdraw from the area of Shir Maghar, also in Hama, as well as a military point east of Saraqeb town, in the countryside of Idlib.

They are also expected to leave observation points in the countryside of Aleppo and the eastern and south-eastern countryside of Idlib in the coming weeks.

They said that Turkey was meanwhile, fortifying posts south of Idlib city. Idlib, in north-western Syria, is the last rebel stronghold in the country’s war-torn country.

Syrian government forces with Russian support began an offensive in the region last year, provoking humanitarian concerns at the United Nations.

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