Early on November 25, unidentified gunmen blew up the al-Nahel bridge on the M4 highway which links the port of Lattakia with Aleppo city, the industrial hub of Syria.
The bridge is located near the town of Muhambal in southwestern Idlib. Opposition sources said the gunmen blew up the bridge to block the M4 highway, where the Russian Military Police and Turkish forces carried out joint patrol earlier this year.
The gunmen blew up the bridge as Turkish troops were being deployed along the M4. The troops were likely preparing for a new patrol on the highway.
Turkey committed to secure and reopen the M4 highway under the March 5 agreement on Idlib with Russia. Several joint patrols were conducted on the highway. However, there were several attacks and the highway remained closedM4 by radical groups, mainly Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.
Turkish forces are now boosting their presence south of the M4 highway and reportedly preparing to patrol the al-Zawiya Mount on their own.
The recent Turkish actions in Idlib indicate that Ankara is not on good terms with the militants in the region. However, it is still determined to support them against Syrian government forces and their allies.
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