On June 24, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) carried out at least three airstrikes on the western outskirts of Idlib city in northwestern Syria.
The airstrikes targeted buildings and fields in the village of Ein Shib. Idlib city and its outskirts are tightly controlled by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the Greater Idlib region.
Some sources alleged that the airstrikes destroyed headquarters and a camp of Ansar al-Tawhid, an affiliate of al-Qaeda and a close ally of HTS. This is yet to be confirmed.
طيران الإحتلال الروسي يستهدف بالصواريخ الفراغية منطقة عين شيب غربي إدلب pic.twitter.com/ICzJZohY5p
— مغرد سوري (@Tb7FgaFJwxqQlKu) June 24, 2021
— تلفزيون سوريا (@syr_television) June 24, 2021
📌تم تنفيذ ثلاث غارات بنفس المكان إلى الآن عدة ويوجد طائرات استطلاع في السماء ويوجد طيران حربي أيضاً pic.twitter.com/i74cMMYOIL
— مزمجر الثورة السورية (@mzmgr941) June 24, 2021
طيران الإحتلال الروسي يستهدف بعدة غارات جوية قرية عين شيب بريف إدلب الجنوبي شمال سوريا الٱن pic.twitter.com/2ngQ0xfFwM
— Hadi khrat (@hadikhraat) June 24, 2021
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Russian reconnaissance planes flew over Idlib city after the airstrikes.
The Russian airstrikes on Idlib city coincided with intense shelling by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the al-Zawiya Mount and other areas in the southern countryside of Idlib.
The recent strikes by the VKS and the SAA were most likely a response to attacks by HTS and its allies, who violate the ceasefire in Greater Idlib on a daily basis. Turkish forces are aiding the militants instead of stopping them.
Recently, the SAA resumed its strikes on Turkish posts in Greater Idlib in what appears to be an attempt to pressure Ankara into implementing the ceasefire agreement.
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