On May 7, militants of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) raided a number of positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) 5th Corps in the northwestern region of Greater Idlib.
The militants attacked several positions located on the al-Haraqat hill, to the west of the town of Milaja in the southern countryside of Idlib. The militants clashed with Syrian troops for around an hour.
Opposition sources revealed that the militants who carried out the large-scale raid were from HTS’ “elite” Abu Baker al-Siddiq Brigade.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, five soldiers from the 5th Corps were killed and ten others were injured as a result of the raid. A militant of HTS was also killed, while two others were injured. These claims are yet to be verified.
This was the largest attack by HTS, the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib, this year. The terrorist group’s previous attacks were more frequent, yet smaller in scale.
The large-scale raid represents a blatant violation of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey on March 5 of last year. The SAA and its allies, first and foremost the Russian Aerospace Forces, will certainly response to the attack in the upcoming few days, if not hours.
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