Turkey keeps building bases in Syria – images

The Astana agreement (the result of peace talks between Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government, and rebels) mandated the construction of Russian and Turkish military observation posts along frontlines, with Russian posts inside Syrian government territory and Turkish posts inside rebel territory. The physical effects of this agreement can be easily seen with fresh satellite imagery (courtesy of EO Browser’s Sentinel 3). Below are selected timelapse images showing the construction of the bases.

The village on the bottom right is Ishtabraq, which is southwest of the rebel stronghold of Jisr Shughour, close to the Turkish border. Construction on a Turkish military observation post began between May 17 and 20, and continued to May 26. Sitting 480 meters high atop Tell Ishtabraq, it affords a great view of the entire area eastward, including Jisr Shughour town and the Ghab Plains.
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At the top of the picture is Turkey, surrounded on three sides by Syrian territory (rebel-held). Taken on May 6, 16, 21, and 26 respectively, these images show the movement of vast amounts of earth and the construction of an apparent trench or foundation for a wall. This also corresponds with reports reports of a new Turkish military observation post at Zaytunah, which is just off-screen to the left. The most recent construction is a trench/corridor to a long-known rebel training complex, visible at the bottom-center-left.
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At the village of Khirbat Khirs southwest of Aleppo, a Turkish military observation post was constructed. Taken on May 6, 16, 21, and 26, respectively.

Other Turkish military bases in Syria have not seen many changes over the past two weeks, partly because some have already been completed (as in Aleppo province), or possibly because more resources are being focused to newer sites. Construction on these new sites will only continue until the Turkish government has cemented an observation network (and quite possibly a border guard network) for its stewardship over the rebel-held part of Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

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