Ceasefire violations | Regime forces and opposition factions trade fire in Sahl al-Ghab, with flights by Russian reconnaissance drones
SOHR activists have reported sporadic clashes, in the early hours of Sunday morning, between opposition factions and regime forces on al-Amqiyah frontline in Sahl al-Ghab in western Hama, along with exchange of rocket fire between the two sides. However, no casualties have been reported.
Meanwhile, SOHR activists have reported frequent flights by Russian reconnaissance drones over the “de-escalation zone” since early morning.
Yesterday, reliable sources informed SOHR that the Turkish forces’ command in the “de-escalation zone” issued a circular, ordering Turkish troops and their proxy factions in the region to react to any attacks by regime forces on the Turkish posts
However, the Turkish forces’ command informed the factions in charge of artillery units and rocket launchers not to target regime positions or regime-held areas indiscriminately, and that they had to check the liaison committee and take coordinates of the positions planned to be targeted. It is worth noting that the liaison committee, tasked to coordinate between Turkish forces on one hand, and Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham and the National Liberation Front on the other regarding the attacks on regime forces, had shared a strategy of using heavy weapons with the two sides in the case that their areas came under regime attack. According to this strategy, Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham would be in charge of the artillery system, while the National Liberation Front would be in charge of the rocket launchers.
Turkish artillery units and rocket launchers are distributed in several posts in the “de-escalation zone”, the most prominent of which are the following:
- Bennish post which contains heavy artillery units
- Taftanaz airbase and al-Mastumah camp which contain rocket launchers and tracked artillery units
- Sarmin post which contains tracked artillery units
- Ibbin post which contains tracked artillery units
- A post on the top of Nabi Ayoub which contains heavy artillery units, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft system
- Balyoun post which contains tracked artillery units
- Al-Twaamah post which contains heavy artillery units and rocket launchers.
It is worth noting that all Turkish posts were provided with mortars in order to deal immediately with any surprise attacks on these posts.
On September 30, SOHR sources reported that the command of Turkish forces ordered all troops deployed in Idlib and Aleppo provinces to raise military readiness. Moreover, Turkish forces, and for the first time since their entry to Idlib and west Aleppo countryside, deployed groups with anti-tanks weapons in their posts along the frontlines with the regime forces and their proxies in Idlib and west Aleppo countryside, along with fixing mortar canons and oriented to the opposite frontlines and to the supply lines.
According to SOHR sources, the Turkish forces concentrated on amassing their troops and heavy weapons at the following three frontlines: east Jabal al-Zawiyah at the side of Ma’arah al-No’amn city, Saraqeb at the side of Idlib city, and Miznar and Kafr Aleppo in west Aleppo countryside at the side of Hezano Outostrade Bab al-Hawa in parallel with the arrival of military reinforcement to the eastern frontlines of Idlib city at the side of Saraqeb.
The recent moves came after a meeting between the Turkish President and his Russian counterpart on Tuesday and Erdoghan statements that the deal with the Russians is enforced in the de-escalation area .But, the reality on ground doesn’t look the deal will be continues.
A day earlier, SOHR activists reported that the Turkish forces were fostering it posts at the frontlines with 37 tanks and armored vehicles starting from Jabal al-Zawiyah in south Idlib countryside until reaching the frontline of west Aleppo countryside.
The moves coincided with visit of the high-level Turkish delegation visit two days ago to the frontlines and their visit is expected to end in the coming two days after monitoring all the posts along the frontline and make sure of its full readiness of soldiers and equipment.
According to SOHR, the Turkish forces have document in the past few days entry of the regime military enforcement over five batches to the east frontline of Idlib province.