On February 7, Syrian opposition activists share a photo of mortar decoys which were set up by al-Qaeda-affiliated Horas al-Din near the city of Saraqib in southeast Idlib.
The activists claimed that the fake mortar position, located in the town of Zammar to the east of Saraqib, tricked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), preventing it from capturing the town for “several months.”
These bold claims are most likely nothing but propaganda, as the SAA reached Zammar only a few days ago. The army captured the town, and several others, within a few hours without facing any resistance from Horas al-Din or any other terrorist group.
Furthermore, the decoy mortars in the photo appeared to be intact. This means that the army was likely aware of the militants’ little trick and didn’t even try to target them.
Last year, the SAA discovered heavy weapons decoys while advancing towards the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib. This tactic has clearly failed to trick the army, likely due to the advanced surveillance means provided by Syrian and Russian air forces.