The saber rattling on both sides of the demarcation line has continued to grow louder in recent weeks, with both Turkish and regime military buildups threatening to destabilize the fragile peace. With the massive arrival of new Turkish reinforcements, the total number of Turkish military points and bases in the region has now reached 79 in total. While the buildup is largely intended to provide deterrence against the regime’s territorial ambitions, clashes continue between the two sides, and the regime has continued to launch sporadic, and up to now unsuccessful, advances against rebel positions. This included notable incursions into Kafr Noran, in the western countryside of Aleppo, and along the Abu Ali axis, in Jabal Turkman, as pro-regime forces seek points of weakness in the opposition’s defences. Escalation in Idlib is a show of strength from the regime and Russia in response to Turkish ambition to launch operations to extend its territory into Tel Rifaat and Tel Timr further east in the “Peace Spring” area. With both sides flexing their muscles, longer military operations could result if either side is dissatisfied with a negotiated resolution.
Attached Map: Military Situation in North-West Syria – 4th November 2021
(The timeframe for this report is the month of October 2021)