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).
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.