On August 9, the Turkish military established a forward post in an area held by terrorist groups in the northern Lattakia countryside.
The post was reportedly established in the al-Raqim hill that rises above the al-Hadadah hill. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched an attack on al- al-Hadadah three days ago. The army failed to capture the hilltop, but inflicted losses on the militants there.
Al-Raqim is located a few hundred meters away from the SAA’s frontlines in northern Lattakia. The new Turkish post was likely established to prevent the army from launching new attacks in northern Lattakia.
The hill and its surroundings are known to be occupied by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the al-Raqim’s post is the 67th Turkish military position in Greater Idlib.
Turkey deployed thousands of troops in Greater Idlib since the signing of the ceasefire agreement with Russia on March 5. Heavy weapons, including howitzers, rocket launchers, and air-defense systems, were also sent to the region.
The military buildup in Greater Idlib indicates that Turkey is planning to stay in the region for the long term. A new report revealed that Ankara even established a central military command for the Syrian regions occupied by its forces.