Turkey has created a unified command center to oversee and coordinate military operations in northern Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired the Supreme Military Council’s most recent meeting on July 23, during which he issued the decision to create the center, a well as executive decisions on the distribution of new leadership and the determination of the positions of those who were promoted.
The center, dubbed “Peace Shield Operations Center”, is to be based in Serinyol, a town in the central district of Antakya in Hatay Province, which borders Syria.
Also, 17 generals and admirals were promoted to a higher rank, 51 colonels were promoted to generals and admirals, while the tenure of 35 generals and admirals was extended for one year and 294 colonels’ terms in office was extended for two years. The decision will be effective as of August 30.
Erdogan assigned the newly promoted Rear Admiral (LH) Hakan Oztekin to lead the center, which is set to coordinate the operations and activities of the Turkish forces in the country’s military operations in northern Syria (Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, Peace Spring, and Spring Shield).
According to pro-Erdogan Yeni Safak newspaper, the appointment decisions point to sources of threat to Turkish security, especially in Syria and Iraq, and the Turkish forces’ upcoming activities.
In a report published on Friday, the newspaper added that the new decisions and appointments indicate that cross-border operations in northern Syria and Iraq are of great importance.
It noted that Major General Levent Ergun, who headed the military aspect of Idlib talks as head of operations at the General Staff, was appointed as commander of the Sixth Mechanized Infantry Division and the Joint Special Force Command in Adana and would lead operations in the Euphrates Shield area in northern Syria.
The coordination of operations in northern Syria will now be under the direction of the new unified center, the report stressed.
Meanwhile, tension has escalated on Idlib fronts witnessing clashes among regime forces, Turkish forces, and armed opposition factions.
Regime forces continued their intense missile strikes on areas within the Latakia and Idlib countryside, targeting areas in Jabal al-Akrad, northern Latakia, and Jabal al-Zawiya, southern Idlib.
Families from Jabal al-Zawiya towns fled to safer areas in northern Idlib, fearing a military operation in the area.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that a military convoy of Turkish forces entered from Kafr Lossin border crossing with the Iskenderun Brigade in northern Idlib, containing four tanks, 35 military vehicles and headed towards the Turkish forces’ sites in Jabal Al-Zawiya