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DECEMBER 2021

Russia Resumes Airstrikes On Greater Idlib, Turkey Places Its Troops In The Region On High-Alert (Photos)

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Russia Resumes Airstrikes On Greater Idlib, Turkey Places Its Troops In The Region On High-Alert (Photos)

A Russian Su-24 strike aircraft in the sky over the Khmeimim airbase in Syria. Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti

On October 1, the Russian Aerospace Forces resumed their airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where several terrorist groups are present and active.

Russian warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on the outskirts of the town of al-Zeyarah in the al-Ghab Plains in the northwestern countryside of Hama. The area is a known stronghold of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib, and the Turkistan Islamic Party.

At around the same time, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the village of Batitiyah in the eastern countryside of Idlib with heavy rockets.

The Russian and Syria strikes came two days only after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two leaders discussed the unstable situation in Greater Idlib. However, they didn’t reach a new agreement on the region.

A ceasefire agreement brokered last year by Russia and Turkey is being violated by HTS and its allies on a daily basis. Ankara has been doing nothing whatsoever to stop these violations.

Official Turkish sources claimed that the two leaders agreed to maintain the status quo in Greater Idlib. However, the new strikes on the region confirm that this was not the case.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has placed its troops in Greater Idlib on high-alert. Anti-tank guided missiles and mortars were deployed in several Turkish military posts in the region.

The recent developments indicate that Russia and Turkey are not the same page when it comes to Greater Idlib. It remains unclear however if Ankara would risk its relations with Russia in order to stop a future attack by the SAA on the region.

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