Unmarked Russian troops in Perevalne, Crimea, March 2014. (Anton Holoborodko/Commons)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – The Russian military allegedly sent an armored convoy to the Hama and Idlib governorates this week after the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham captured several areas in these provinces.

“A Russian military convoy, consisting of several armored, military, engineering and personnel carrier vehicles, has been sent to the strategic village of Salba in the Southern parts of the town of Hayalin in Western Hama,” Fars News field sources in northern Syria reported on Thursday.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) also sent several reinforcements to the northern countryside of Hama and southern region of Idlib; however, their deployment appears to be defensive in nature.

Speaking to Al-Masdar on Friday, a military source from the National Defense Forces (NDF) in Mhadeh said that the Syrian Arab Army has received orders to remain on high alert as Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham attempts to expand towards the government lines.

Earlier this week, the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham managed to overpower their former allies from the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front and capture most of the Idlib province.

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