Alwaght- Five Turkish generals reportedly have resigned after being tasked with operations along the southern border and in Syria's Idlib, handing the army another headache as it grapples with a tense situation in the Syrian province.
Two Turkish officials confirmed to Middle East Eye that some generals have asked for retirement but declined to provide further comment.
Turkey recently sent a military convoy to Syria’s embattled northwestern province of Idlib, offering generous support to militants and terrorists who have lost ground amid Syrian government forces’ push to retake the last militant-held area in the country.
Syrian Government toughly reacted to Turkish army's intrusion and conducted air strikes on its military convoy heading through Syria’s Idlib province on Monday. More over Syrian forces surrounded one of Turkish observation posts in the southern Idlib town of Morek.
Major-General Ahmet Ercan Corbaci, Turkey's joint special task force commander responsible for mechanized infantry forces in Idlib, and his deputy, Brigadier-General Ertugrul Saglam, were among the officers who wanted to step down, according to Turkish media reports on Monday.
The predicament in Syria has asked difficult questions of the military, as Ankara looks for a diplomatic route out of the situation and Turkish troops refuse to budge.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday tried to downplay the importance of the generals' resignations.
"Our friends, with their own initiative, can retire upon completing their services. We have two petitions in that regard and we confirmed them,” he told journalists.
Veryansin TV, a news site close to the Turkish military that first reported the resignations, instead speculated that the retirements were prompted by a sense of dissatisfaction over a raft of recent appointments to different positions.
"These are the first resignations following the 21 August assignments. People who served in active conflict zones aren’t content. This is why they had wanted to leave,” Veryansin TV said.
"Some commanders believe their new appointments weren’t made based on merit. While some officers without experience in the east have been assigned to important positions, war veterans were sent to inactive missions".