On August 19, several units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) 4th Division were redeployed from southern Syria to the northern Lattakia countryside as a part of the ongoing preparations for a large-scale military operation against the militants in northern Syria, according to Syrian pro-government activists.
A source in the 4th Division told SouthFront that more units and heavy rocket launchers will be deployed in the northern Lattakia countryside in the upcoming days. When asked if the upcoming operation will cover northern Lattakia, the source rejected to comment on this issue.
Earlier this month, the Tiger Forces deployed most of its forces in the northern Hama countryside. Furthermore, the Russian-backed 5th Corps deployed four brigades between the southwestern Aleppo countryside and the northwestern Hama countryside.
The northern Lattakia countrywide is a stronghold of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Chechen-led Ajnad al-Kavkaz, which are affiliated with al-Qaeda. According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, the armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which attacked Hmeimim airbase, were launched from there.
Many Syrian opposition activists doubt that the SAA and its allies will attack the northern Lattakia countryside especially that Turkey deployed battle tanks in a nearby Turkish village two days ago. However, the deployment of the 4th Division there indicates that the SAA is indeed preparing to attack militant positions the area.