January 14, 2019

IntelBrief: From Bad to Worse in Syria’s Idlib Province

A Turkish forces convoy of trucks carrying tanks destined for Syria is pictured near the town of Reyhanli, Turkey (Ersin Ercan/DHA via AP).
  • On January 13th, the Turkish military sent reinforcements to the border region with Syria.
  • The move comes as the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has consolidated control over sections of Idlib Province.
  • The HTS defeat of Turkish-backed rebels threatens the cease-fire brokered by Moscow and Ankara, designed to prevent a wider conflagration.
  • A broad offensive would lead to a humanitarian disaster along the border, but ceding control of Idlib to HTS and its allies is also highly unpalatable.