Turkey has been deploying military reinforcements in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib since the start of October in order to obstacle any ground operations by the Syrian Arab Army, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on October 9.
The Turkish military maintains more than 60 positions in Greater Idlib, which is controlled by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
“Since the start of this month, Turkish occupation forces have deployed dozens of battle tanks and armored personnel carriers to support terrorist groups in the al-Zawiya mount in the southern countryside of Idlib and other areas of the western countryside of Aleppo and improve their ability to obstacle the advance of SAA units when they begin their operations to liberate the city of Idlib and the remaining areas occupied by these groups,” the SANA’s report reads.
The state-run agency’s report indicates that the SAA and its allies are indeed preparing to launch a ground operation in Greater Idlib soon.
The ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey last year, appears to be on the brink of collapse. HTS and its allies launch attacks from the region on a daily basis. In the morning of October 9, the militants shelled a government-held town in the northwestern Hama countryside. An elderly civilian man was wounded.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President 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 ground operations by the SAA and its allies in Greater Idlib. This will most likely lead to a dangerous military confrontation in the region, similar to the one that took place in 2020. Dozens of Syrian and Turkish service members were killed back then.
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