The implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreement on Idlib has been sabotaged by radical militant groups. The security zone along the M4 highway remains a merely formality on the paper, while in fact the area remains in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked groups – Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and their allies.
Furthermore, the situation is escalating with more and more militant groups are not only declaring that they reject the security zone agreement, but diretly threatening Russian forces that should conduct patrols with the Turkish military there.
In these conditions, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces have started deploying reinforcements in southern Idlib and northern Lattakia preparing for a new round of escalation in the region. According to pro-government sources, the city of Jisr al-Shughur – the stronghold of the TIP – will become the next target of the operation.
Jisr al-Shughur is located just on the M4 highway. So, if government forces are able to besiege and capture it, they will get an opportunity to implement the safe zone agreement by themselves.
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- New Syrian Army Offensive In Idlib Becoming Inevitable As Militants Sabotage Joint Turkish-Russian Patrols