On October 6, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) pounded the al-Zawiya Mount in the southern part of the region of Greater Idlib.
Dozens of artillery rounds and rocket hit the towns of al-Fatterah, Sufuhon, Fleifel, and Benin in the mountainous area, which is known to be a stronghold of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib, and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Russian drones were seen flying over Greater Idlib at the time of the shelling.
— المحرر لحظة بلحظة (@Almohrar1) October 6, 2021
Earlier this week, the SAA deployed reinforcements around Greater Idlib where the situation has been spinning out of control for the last few months.
Several recent reports talked about a near operation by the SAA and its allies in Greater Idlib to push HTS and its allies behind the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, known as the M4, as well as to reinforce the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement of 2020.
During a recent meeting with his troops, Brigadier General Suheil al-Hassan, commander of the SAA’s elite 25th Special Mission Forces Division “Tiger Forces,” vowed to enter Idlib city on foot, thus confirming that a ground operation is being prepared.
He gives directions to soldiers and officers.. He says, “I am with you, your commander is with you, and the soldier is like a trust in your hands. Be ready, my salutations to your leader, I am stronger on your hands, and I am proud of you” pic.twitter.com/3ayUVE3w7y
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) October 5, 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to reach a new agreement on Greater Idlib during a recent meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi.
Turkey appears to be determined to stop any new operation by the SAA and its allies in Greater Idlib. According to Syrian opposition sources, the Turkish military is currently reinforcing its troops in the region.
Last year, the Turkish military fought side by side with its proxies and HTS to stop the SAA from reopening the Hama-Aleppo highway, which is known as the M5. The SAA sustained heavy losses. Nevertheless, it managed to reopen the highway, de-facto defeating the Turkish military and its allies.
- In Video: Syrian Army Sends Reinforcement To Idlib Frontlines
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