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Top generals step down in ominous sign for Turkish military in Syria

Top generals in charge of Turkey’s military operations in Syria have sought retirement amid escalating tensions in Idlib, fueling questions over Ankara’s Syria policies.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey was rattled last week by reports that five generals serving on Syria-related missions were seeking to resign, including the head of a command center in charge of all Turkish operations in Syria and two others at the helm of commando forces that are deployed in Syria on a rotational basis.

An unnamed Defense Ministry official told the state-run Anatolia news agency that only two generals had asked to retire “due to health and familial reasons” and their requests had been granted. “The presentation of the two generals’ retirement requests as something extraordinary [and a sign of] problems within the Turkish Armed Forces is seen as an effort to create perceptions aimed at discrediting the Turkish Armed Forces,” the official was quoted as saying.

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