Are Turkish forces planning a major offensive in Syria?

Following the serious clashes, on February 11, between the Syrian armed forces en route to retake the city of Idleb, and the Turkish army present around the city, which left more than 125 dead on both sides, Turkish President RT Erdogan promised on February 12 a response massive and extensive for strike the Syrian forces "wherever they are". It now seems that the Turkish armed forces are actually preparing to walk the talk. Indeed, according to media in Arabic cited by the Tass agency, a military convoy of more than 300 trucks and armored vehicles was observed crossing the Syrian border from Syria, to reinforce the forces already present. In addition, some unconfirmed reports referred to "aggressive encounters" between Turkish F16s and Russian Su35s over Syria, but no ammunition was fired.

For some specialists in the Syrian conflict, the standoff that is being played out today between Ankara and Moscow goes far beyond the case of the city of Idleb alone. Indeed, according to them, RT Erdogan hopes to be able to exchange a withdrawal from the strategic city against the authorization of Damascus, and therefore of Moscow, to extend the control zone into Kurdish territory or the city of Kobani. But the Russian authorities seem determined, for the time being in any case, not to grant more Syrian territory to Turkey, which would transform the "security zone" under Turkish control into an annexation of territory pure and simple. As such, we can note the discretion of the Russian authorities on this subject on the international scene, and in particular that of Vladimir Poutine, who is obviously seeking to initiate a de-escalation with Ankara. At the same time, the Russian air force present there does not seem to reduce its activity, a clear message when it comes to the involvement of Moscow alongside Damascus if the conflict were to break out.

Su35s base syria Defense News | Fighter jets | Syrian conflict
The Hmeimim air base houses between 20 and 30 combat aircraft of the Russian air forces, including the Su-35, considered to be the best Russian fighter of the moment.

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