On July 3, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) carried out a series of airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where several terrorist groups are active.
Four airstrikes targeted the village of Sheikh Yousef in the western countryside of Idlib. Several positions of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib, are located in this area. The target of the airstrikes was allegedlly a pumping station occupied by the White Helmet civil defense organization, which is known to be working closely with HTS.
— Mohamad Rasheed محمد رشيد (@mohmad_rasheed) July 3, 2021
لحظة استهداف الطيران الحربي الروسي مركز للدفاع المدني في سهل الروج غرب إدلب بغارة جوية pic.twitter.com/ZAWU6YRvwd
— Âla hacıoğlu 🌸🇹🇷 (@ala_hacioglu) July 3, 2021
The airstrikes came following a statement by the Russian Reconciliation Center In Syria warning from a chemical weapons provocation that is being prepared in Greater Idlib by both HTS and the White Helmets.
The Russian Ministry of Defense, as well as media sources in Russia, Syria and Lebanon, warned from similar malicious plots, which are meant to accused the Syrian military of using chemical weapons, on a number of occasions over the last few years.
The VKS airstrikes were likely a warning to HTS and its allies in Greater Idlib as well as a response to recent violations of the ceasefire in the region.
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