Turkey is fortifying its border with the Syrian province of Idlib with cement blocks, barbed wires, and other military-style structures. According to Ankara, Idlib is in the hands of the so-called moderate opposition. However, it is for some reason concerned over the presence of these moderate activists in the border area.
During the past months, the Turkish military deployed notable forces, including heavy military equipment, on the Turkish side of the border with the Syrian province. Most of these forces are located near the opposition-controlled border crossings.
Meanwhile, the situation once again escalated in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone. On October 3, the Syrian Army shelled militant positions near the town of Kafr Nabudah and Baarbu in southern Idlib with heavy rockets. On the same day, helicopters of the Syrian Air Force delivered a fresh round of strikes in northern Lattakia targeting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham near Kabani.
Pro-militant sources also reported that the Syrian Army shelled area near a Turkish observation point in Maarat.
Despite efforts of Turkey, Iran and Russia in the framework of the Astana format, Idlib militant groups continue shelling positions of the Syrian Army along the contact line in southern Idlib and northern Lattakia on a regular basis. This forces the army to respond and fuels instability in the area.
The Intelligence Service of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced that it had foiled an “Israeli-Arabic” plot to assassinate Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force of the IRGC. According to Hojjatoleslam Hossein Taeb, the assassination squad bought a house next to the shrine of Gen. Soleimani’s father, prepared 350-500kg of explosives and planted them in a tunnel under the shrine. The squad planned to carry out the attack on September 8 or 9, which are the 9th and 10th days of the holy Islamic month of Muharram. Gen. Soleimani was supposed to visit his father shrine on one of these days. The IRGC arrested the entire squad consisting of 3 operatives. G_3
Iran is yet to name the side responsible for the supposed assassination attempt. However, most likely, Teheran will accuse Israel and Saudi Arabia.