On July 19, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Islam released photos of Turkish-made mortars it had fired at positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the northwestern Hama countryside.
The 81 mm mortars, made by Turkey’s Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK), was likely supplied to the terrorist group by the Turkish military which maintains a large presence in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
No human or material losses were reported as a result of Ansar al-Islam shelling. Yet, the attack represents a blatant violation of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey on March 5 of last year.
Ansar al-Islam, originally based in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, formed its branch in southern Syria in 2014. The branch was established by three factions [the Osama bin Zaid Brigade, the Al Ezz bin Abdul Salam Brigade and the al-Adiyat Battalion]. In 2015, its new branch in the northwestern region of Greater Idlib was formed.
Today, Ansar al-Islam is a part of the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operation Room, which is led by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Several Turkish-backed factions are also members of the operation room.
The photos released by Ansar al-Islam are yet another evidence of Turkey’s military support for groups responsible for ceasefire violations in Greater Idlib. A day earlier, Turkish-made 122 mm rockets were used in an attack on the city of Aleppo.
- HTS-Led Militants Put On High Alert In Greater Idlib
- Militants Shelled Aleppo City In Blatant Violation Of Greater Idlib Ceasefire (Photos)