On April 26 afternoon, Turkish military helicopters flew to the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib to evacuate several service members that had been injured in clashes with al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other terrorist groups.
The clashes erupted in the early morning when the Turkish military confronted radicals blocking the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, known as the M4. At least four radicals, including HTS members, were killed.
Following the clashes on the M4, the militants targeted a battle tank, an armored vehicle and a bulldozer of the Turkish military in an observation post near the town of al-Nerab with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
The Turkish military responded to the attack, carrying out airstrikes on two positions of HTS in the town of San. At least two militants of the group were killed.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Turkish military is currently in talks with Greater Idlib factions, including HTS, to de-escalate the situation.
The April 24 clashes demonstrate that many Idlib militants have little respect to Ankara despite the fact that they receive funding and weapons from Turkey.