On April 5, the Turkish military established three new “observation” posts in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The new posts were established next to the towns of Baksariya, al-Z’ainiyah and Furaykah. The three towns are located in the countryside of Jisr al-Shughur in the northwestern part of Idlib.
Jisr al-Shughur is known to be a stronghold of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). The Turkish military couldn’t have established these new posts without some sort of an understanding with these terrorist groups.
All three observation posts overlook the M4 highway, which links the port city of Lattakia with Aleppo city, the industrial hub of Syria.
Turkey committed to reopen the M4 under the March 5 agreement with Russia. However, the highway is still blocked by opposition supporters and radical militants, who organize protests there on a regular basis.
While the establishment of new posts on the M4 could help secure it, there is nothing indicating that Turkey is planning to do so. The Turkish military appear to be preparing for a new confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) once the March 5 agreement collapses.