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Chatter of an incoming large-scale ground operation in Greater Idlib have ramped up following the apparent failure to negotiate any solution between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As the days were leading up to Erdogan and Putin’s meeting the situation seemed rather calm, and that remained for a few days.
Following that, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the other terrorist factions in Greater Idlib renewed their frequent ceasefire violations.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) responded, and Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) airstrikes also continued their near-daily occurrence.
On October 5th, the SAA sent a large convoy of reinforcements to the Idlib frontlines, as seen in several videos.
Turkey is also making its own deployments to Syria, sending reinforcements so as not to be caught unprepared in case of an operation starting.
The Saraya Ansar Abu Bakr al-Siddiq faction announced that it had used an IED to attack a convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces on the Nakhlai-Erich highway in the Syrian province of Idlib.
The group is one of the terrorist factions in the region, and is presumably protected by Turkey, but still targets it.
There are two versions of why that is happening:
The first is the attack is a sort of revenge for all the Syrians who were killed by Turkish soldiers along the border. The second version is that the group was allegedly “planted” by Damascus to sabotage the Greater Idlib terrorists and Turkey army from behind enemy lines.
Still, on October 5th, full fire exchange returned in Greater Idlib.
SAA shelling targeted the towns of al-Bara and Kansafra, and the villages of al-Fatira, Fleifel, Sfuhun and al-Ruwaiha in Zawiya Mountain, south of Idlib, with rockets and heavy artillery.
Additionally, bombing targeted the villages and towns of Tuqad, Kafr Nuran and Mekalbis, west of Aleppo, and the Ghab Plain, west of Hama.
The Turkistan Islamic Party targeted government forces’ positions in the village of Tanjara, west of Hama.
The mutual shelling coincided with an intense flight of Russian drones over the targeted areas.
For months, the northwestern regions of Syria have been witnessing mutual bombardment between the two sides of the conflict in different areas.
There is certainly a limit to how long this constant exchange can continue before the SAA and Russia’s VKS are forced to go on the offensive and move in. After all, the Idlib factions have little interest to push outwards as they are protected by Turkey’s observation posts, to a point.