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Turkish Military Threatens Syrian Army Troops In Greater Idlib Via Radio

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Turkish Military Threatens Syrian Army Troops In Greater Idlib Via Radio

TOPSHOT – Turkish army tanks gather close to the Syrian border on January 21, 2018 at Hassa, in Hatay province./ AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

On April 1, the Turkish military in Syria’s Greater Idlib podcasted a message over the radio, warning Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops against “violating” the ceasefire, according to several opposition sources.

“Your army commanders endanger your life and lead you to death when they order you to bomb the de-escalation zone … Never cross the de-escalation zone, or you will receive a fatal response,” the Turkish military said in the message, which was reportedly podcasted in Arabic and Turkish.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the Turkish military podcasted the message after “hacking” Syrian military communication. However, such messages are usually podcasted on open frequencies.

Pro-government sources are yet to confirm or deny these reports. Such threats and warnings are not unusual, however, they rarely receive media attention.

A day earlier, Greater Idlib witnessed an escalation when the government-held city of Saraqib was shelled. Opposition activists claimed that the artillery strike was carried out by Turkish forces in response to “violations” by the SAA.

Turkey is clearly preparing for a new confrontation with the SAA and its allies in Greater Idlib. The recent developments suggest that such a confrontation could start very soon.

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