The Turkish military has deployed 2,810 vehicles in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib since the ceasefire became active on March 5, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed on April 24.
According to the UK-based monitoring group, a total of 10,300 Turkish service members have been sent to Greater Idlib since last February. The troops are stationed in more than 50 posts throughout the Syrian region.
On April 24 only, a convoy consisting of dozens of Turkish military vehicles entered Greater Idlib. The convoy reinforced several Turkish observation posts.
Aside from a ceasefire, the March 5 agreement between Russia and Turkey includes a set of measures meant to de-escalate tension in Greater Idlib. The reopening of the M4 highway, which links the cities of Lattakia and Aleppo, is the key measure.
Ankara, which is apparently busy with solidifying its military presence in Greater Idlib, is yet to fulfill its promises and reopen the M4.
The Turkish military buildup in Greater Idlib indicates that Ankara is preparing for a battle against the Syrian Army rather than to implement the March 5 agreement. In these conditions, the Syrian military and its allies may soon find themselves forced to resume operations in the region.