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Syria, minor militias in Idlib raise the bar and target Turkey
Minor militias in Idlib raise their sights and target Turkey. Two attacks in two days against the TAF and Ankara’s interests in the Syrian province
Minor militias in Idlib raise their sights and begin targeting Turkey. In the past few hours, a TAF patrol on the M4 has suffered a bomb attack near their base in al-Mastumah. An IED exploded when a vehicle passed, damaging it. Immediately, a massive contingent was deployed along several sections of the Aleppo-Latakia highway, fearing a possible evolution, but nothing happened. Moreover, only the day before, a Turkish tank truck had been involved in a similar event. In that case, the attack was claimed by the Ansar Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade, a group that had already hit Ankara’s interests in the Syrian province in January.
The groups cut off from the aid distributed by HTS first began to fight each other, but now they point directly to the source
According to Turkey, the Ansar Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade is a semi-unknown group linked to the Islamic State. It is actually one of the minor militias, subjugated some time ago by force by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Ankara’s main local ally in Syria. The fact that it has hit near a TAF base and the reduction in time between attacks suggest that the formation has decided to raise the bar and will probably strike again shortly. Furthermore, it is a signal on the evolution of the situation in Idlib and in the north of the Middle Eastern country. The para-military forces, which had recently begun to fight each other to grab the few resources distributed by HTS on behalf of the neighboring country, are now knocking directly at the source and with increasingly decisive signals.
Ankara, however, also has the Kurdistan issue, which became a priority after the strikes against the SDF in Sayda (Ain Issa). The choices in Idlib, therefore, are two
Turkey, however, is engaged in an offensive in Kurdistan which has recently accelerated. What was born as a proxy war, in fact, has turned into a direct conflict against the SDF. The turning point was the TAF air raids on Kurdish positions in Sayda (Ain Issa), the first in 17 months. Ankara will therefore have to decide whether to continue on this path or stop in order not to fuel the escalation. As a result, Idlib has now taken second place, although reinforcements continue to arrive in Zawiya. Therefore, now Recep Tayyp Erdogan has two choices: to increase “aid” to the militias, including minor ones, or to focus on the large contingent in the Syrian province to minimize the risk of attacks on his troops. Both options, however, will come at a cost.