The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is mobilizing its troops around the militants-held part of the al-Ghab Plains in Greater Idlib, the North Press Agency reported on December 22.
An unnamed source in the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) told the agency that the army deployed new reinforcements in the Jurin camp and the town of Shat’ha in the northern part of al-Ghab Plains, as well as in the towns of Tangera, Amqiyah, and Shulin in their southern part.
“Syrian regime forces have been mobilizing for weeks in several areas in the al-Ghab Plains region,” the source said.
Earlier this year, the SAA and its allies liberated the southern and central parts of the al-Ghab Plains after a fierce battle with Turkish-backed militants.
The militants are now concerned by a possibility of the new SAA advance in the al-Ghab Plains. These worries are reinforced by the fact that Turkish forces maintain a very small presence in the region.
The NFL is not the only faction present in the al-Ghab Plains. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Turkistan Islamic Party and several other al-Qaeda-affiliated factions are active there.
Any SAA attack on al-Ghab Plains will likely be a part of a large-scale operation to reopen the M4 highway. The highway links the port city of Lattakia with Aleppo city, Syria’s industrial hub.
HTS, the leading force in Greater Idlib, is deeply concerned about a new attack on Greater Idlib. Fearing a full collapse, the terrorist group arrested on December 22 at least 20 people who were promoting the reconciliation with Damascus in the town of Ma’arrat Misrin.
The situation in Greater Idlib is far from being stable. Turkey’s failure to implement the March 5 agreement with Russia may soon force Syrian government forces to take matter into their own hands. The militants are clearly worried of a such development.
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