On August 19, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out several airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, which is held by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other terrorist groups.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Russian airstrikes targeted a headquarters of HTS located near the town of Ein Shib in the western countryside of Idlib. No casualties were reported as a result of the airstrikes.
سوريا: عاجل: الطائرات الروسية تقصف بالصواريخ الفراغية أطراف قرية عين شيب غرب مدينة إدلب. pic.twitter.com/FFeh4wQJAO
— Fared Al Mahlool (@FARED_ALHOR) August 19, 2021
— المحرر لحظة بلحظة (@Almohrar1) August 19, 2021
Earlier, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) pounded militants’ positions in the southern countryside of Idlib. Russian-made Krasnopol laser-guided rounds were reportedly used.
The recent Russian and Syrian strikes appear to be a response to the repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement in Greater Idlib. HTS and its allies, including Turkish-backed factions, violate the agreement on a daily basis.
The ceasefire, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey on 5 March 2020, is barely holding up. Nevertheless, the chances of a large-scale military confrontation in the region remain slim.
The Turkish military maintains more than 60 posts, camps and bases throughout Greater Idlib. Any operation by the SAA and its allies will likely trigger a new conflict with Turkey.
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