Syrian militants and Turkish forces are taking defensive measures in the southern countryside of Idlib amid reports of a near attack by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on August 8 that the militants had deployed large reinforcements in the al-Zawiya Mount area, the highest region in southern Idlib. Al-Zawiya’s villages and towns are occupied by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation.
“Dozens of [military] vehicles arrived at the frontlines,” the monitoring group said in its report.
According to the London-based group, the Turkish military, which maintains a number of posts in southern Idlib, also redeployed its troops in a number of villages and towns in the al-Zawiya Mount area.
Recent reports revealed that the SAA and its allies are preparing to launch a new operation in Greater Idlib. The target will reportedly be the al-Zawiya Mount.
Last week, the SAA deployed large reinforcements on the frontlines with al-Zawiya, provoking a wave of panic among militants there.
The recent movements by the militants and their main backer, Turkey, indicate that Ankara is planning to confront any new attack by the SAA and its allies. This could lead to a large battle similar to the one that ended last March.