On September 26, the Turkish military deployed reinforcements in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where it maintains more than 60 positions.
The reinforcements, which included several T-155 Fırtına 155 mm self-propelled howitzers, entered the region from the Kafr Lusin border crossing. The heavy howitzers were deployed in a Turkish post located on Baluon hill in the al-Zawiya Mount in the southern countryside of Idlib.
— همام عيسى (@humam_isa) September 26, 2021
In the morning, Turkish troops were temporarily deployed along the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, known as the M4. At the time, Russian warplanes were carrying out airstrikes on the outskirts of the town of al-Bara in the southern Idlib countryside. A Turkish post is located near the town.
Tensions escalated in Greater Idlib over the last week amid reports of a near ground operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). The ceasefire in the region, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey last year, is barely holding up as a result of the repeated violations by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and its allies.
A recent report by Bloomberg revealed that Turkey had deployed addition forces in Greater Idlib in order to keep the SAA and its allies out from the region.
Russia, which intensified its airstrikes on Greater Idlib in the last few weeks, does not seem to be happy with Turkey’s moves in the region. Recently, Moscow blamed Ankara for not honoring its commitments under the ceasefire agreement.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to discuss the unstable situation in Greater Idlib with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on September 29. If the two leaders fail to reach an agreement, a military confrontation will likely break out in the region.
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