A new geodynamic model based on structural and kinematic observations is presented here that predicts that anticlockwise rotation of the Apulia foreland along with its uplifted promontory in the southwest of Albania provided a buffer stop for the incoming ‘train’ of the Ionian basin thrusts during the Oligocene to Pliocene. A regional shear couple was formed between the hinterland and the buffer stop which was accommodated by strain partitioning along the strike. The Ionian basin thrusts were uplifted and exhumed in the south as they buttressed towards the promontory, while propagating freely in the north towards the foreland and overlain by Durresi foredeep basin during the Miocene – Pliocene.


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