The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has deployed more reinforcements in the northwestern region of Greater Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on August 2.
According to the UK-based monitoring group, the reinforcements were moved from Hama to the frontline at the Zawiya Mount in the southern Idlib countryside. The exact nature of the reinforcements was not revealed.
“As regime forces continue to push reinforcements into the region [Greater Idlib], they are also escalating their rocket strikes, specifically on the southern countryside of Idlib,” the SOHR said in its report.
Recent reports revealed that the SAA and its allies are preparing to launch a new ground operation in southern Greater Idlib.
The operation, which will supposedly start soon, may target the Zawiya Mount. The region oversees the southern Idlib countryside as well as the M4 highway that links Lattakia and Aleppo.
Opposition sources said Greater Idlib group, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the National Front for Liberation, are preparing to repel any new attack by the SAA.
Turkey maintains a fairly large military presence in southern Idlib. In the last few months, the Turkish military deployed hundreds of troops, battle tanks, howitzers, rocket launchers and even air-defense systems in the region.
Any attack by the SAA will likely lead to a dangerous confrontation with Turkish forces in Greater Idlib. Nevertheless, it could improve security in northwest Syria for the long term.