BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:45 P.M.) – Turkey is attempting to persuade Russia and Iran to force the Syrian Army to halt their offensive plans in northwest Syria, a military source in Damascus told Al-Masdar this afternoon.
According to the source, Turkey is seeking an open-ended ceasefire that would be observed by their troops, Russia, and Iran.
In order to disuade the Idlib operation, Turkey has allegedly threatened to launch an offensive at the key town of Tal Rifa’at, the source added.
Over the last few weeks, the Turkish military has gradually built-up their forces near Tal Rifa’at, prompting the Syrian Army to respond by sending reinforcements to the nearby town of Deir Jamal.
This show of force by Turkey has raised alarms in Damascus, as Tal Rifa’at is located just north of Aleppo city and the government strongholds of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl.
While negotiations are still ongoing between Ankara and Moscow regarding Idlib, the Syrian Army has continued to beef up their forces in both Hama and Latakia, signifying that an offensive is imminent in these provinces.