Militants in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib are preparing to launch a large-scale offensive against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on two different fronts with direct support from the Turkish military, RusVesna.SU reported on June 12.
According to the Russian news outlet, the militants, led by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), will attack in northwestern Hama and northern Lattakia.
In preparation for the offensive, the Turkish military stepped up ammunition shipments to the militants. At least 12 trucks loaded with shells and rockets arrived in the town of al-Bara in southern Idlib from Turkey through the Kafer Lusin border crossing.
“To justify the offensive, pro-Turkish militants will resort to various provocations against government forces,” RusVesna’s report reads.
HTS is also amassing its forces on several frontlines in Greater Idlib in preparations for the large-scale offensive. The al-Qaeda-affiliated group deployed dozens of fighters as well as several battle tanks.
The Russian Aerospace Forces is keeping a close eye on Turkish forces and HTS. Earlier this week, Russian drones spotted several Turkish howitzers in northwestern Hama.
Earlier this week, Greater Idlib experienced a military escalation when a series of Russian and Syrian strikes killed nine militants, including HTS main spokesman. The strikes were a response to repeated provocations by the militants.
Instead of working to maintain the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, Turkey is encouraging Greater Idlib militants to carry out even more provocations.
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