Al-Asfari said the Syrian Army’s ongoing operation in northwestern Hama is a prelude to a wide-scale offensive in the Idlib Governorate.

He noted that clashes between the Syrian Arab Army and Turkish military are highly unlikely because Russia is the one providing direct support to the government troops.

Al-Asfari said given the joint Russian-Syrian decision to launch this latest offensive, Turkey has begun withdrawing some of the observation posts near the front-lines.

These comments from the military expert were made to Sputnik after the Syrian Arab Army and their allies took control of several towns in northwestern Hama.

Despite Al-Asfari’s comments, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan still had a phone conversation on Monday to discuss the ongoing situation in northwestern Syria.

Erdogan has accused the Syrian government of purposely undermining the September 17th Sochi Agreement.

Since launching their offensive, the Syrian Arab Army has managed to reach the southwestern axis of the Al-Zawiya Mountains, which effectively puts them at the border of the Idlib governorate.

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