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Militants In Greater Idlib Ramp Up Their Provocations

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Militants In Greater Idlib Ramp Up Their Provocations

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Northern Syria is as volatile as ever, despite Turkey holding back to wait for a better possibility to begin its one, or two military operations.

Center stage is now taken by the US-led coalition’s movements and their attempt to presumably counter Iran’s spreading influence and activities.

On November 28, a large convoy moving supplies for the US-led coalition entered northeastern Syria from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The convoy headed to the town of Rmelan in the northeastern countryside of al-Hasakah. The US-led coalition has several bases in the area which are tightly controlled by its main proxy in northeastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The US-led coalition apparently wants to reinforce its bases in the northeastern al-Hasakah countryside. Days earlier, a rocket attack targeted a large airfield of the US-led coalition located near the town of Khrab al-Jeer. The attack didn’t result in any casualties. US-led coalition fighter jets and helicopters were spotted flying over the airfield and nearby areas after the attack.

Meanwhile, in Greater Idlib, while Ankara’s troops are keeping it low, the so-called moderate opposition, led by the al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) continue to commit numerous daily ceasefire violations targeting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as civilian settlements.

On November 28, Turkey’s main proxy in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, the National Front for Liberation (NFL), shared a video showing one of its recent attacks on SAA troops.

During the attack, which took place on November 25, NFL militants targeted a gathering of SAA soldiers near the town of Hantoteen. No fatalities resulted from the attack.

On November 28, the SAA shelled militants’ positions in the southern Idlib countryside as well as in the western countryside of Aleppo in response to a number of recent violations.

Following that, clashes broke out between the SAA and militants in the southern part of the Greater Idlib, north of the government-held town of Saraqib. The town is located right on the strategic M5 highway, which links Hama with Aleppo. Traffic at the highway slowed down a day earlier as a result of similar clashes.

The SAA and its allies managed to reopen the M5 highway last year following a fierce battle with HTS and its Turkish-backed allies. The militants failed to hold onto the highway despite receiving direct support from the Turkish military.

The escalation near the M5 and the recently released footage of shelling attacks on the SAA are rare but significant escalations that contribute to the region spinning out of control.

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