On March 18, Russian journalist Oleg Blokhin released photos showing a heavily armed Turkish “observation” post in northwestern Hama
The “observation” post, located near the town of Shir Mughar, is currently besieged by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). The photos, likely taken by a Russian drone, show several battle tanks, armored vehicles and self-propelled howitzers inside the post.
These posts, which were originally established to observe ceasefire violations in Greater Idlib, became heavily armed military positions in the last few months.
From its “observation” posts, the Turkish military provided Greater Idlib militants, including al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), with direct fire support. Dozens of Turkish howitzers and rocket launchers shelled SAA positions from these posts.
The posts also served as a cover for HTS and many other terrorist groups, which positioned their own artillery in nearby areas.
The activities of these “observation” posts were not limited to fire support. In Greater Idlib recent confrontation, Turkish service members launched anti-aircraft missiles from these posts at Russian and Syrian warplanes.
The Turkish military is not only still reinforcing its old “observation” posts in Greater Idlib, but also working to establish more. The newest post was established in the morning, near the town of Ram Hamdan in northern Idlib.
This military buildup in Greater Idlib indicates that the Turkish military is preparing for a lasting deployment in the Syrian region as well as for another confrontation with the SAA.