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Turkey's hands tied as Syrian army makes gains in Idlib

Behind its strong condemnations, Turkey is quietly accepting the new status quo in and around Idlib.
Syrian army soldiers gesture on the highway outside Maarat al-Numan, Syria, January 30, 2020.   REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RC2GQE9KJ096
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Ankara offered a rare and forceful rebuke to Moscow when Russia-backed Syrian regime forces recently captured a strategic town in the northwestern province of Idlib, but Turkey does not seem to have many options to change the course of events.

The Syrian regime forces captured the strategic town of Maaret al-Numan some 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Idlib city, the last stronghold of the Turkey-backed opposition groups. Three Turkish observation posts have come under siege as of the recent regime advances, putting Turkey, which had promised to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib under the 2018 Sochi deal between Ankara and Moscow, in a tight spot. 

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