BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:35 A.M.) – For the second time this year, the Turkish and Russian armed forces conducted a joint patrol in the northwestern Syria demilitarized zone.

According to a source in nearby Hama, the Turkish-Russian joint patrol began at 6 A.M. (local time) and it is scheduled to last until 11 A.M.

This latest joint patrol comes just two days after the Russian Air Force, with approval from Turkey, launched a heavy attack against Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham near Idlib city.

The Russian and Turkish forces have recently increased their cooperation in northwestern Syria after the territorial expansion of jihadist groups like Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkestan Islamic Party.

However, despite these joint patrols between the Turkish and Russian forces, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) seems poised to launch a new operation to expel Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, Jaysh Al-Izza, and the other pro-militant groups from the northwestern Syria demilitarized zone.

Most recently, the Syrian Arab Army sent their entire 5th Corps to northern Hama and deployed them at the front-lines with Jaysh Al-Izza near the Zakat Checkpoint.

More troops are expected to be deployed to northern Hama and southern Idlib in the coming days as the Syrian Army’s operation in the demilitarized zone approaches.

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