On March 4, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies repelled another Turkish-led attack on Saraqib city in eastern Idlib.
The attack was launched in the early morning hours by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the National Front for Liberation (NFL). As usual, the Turkish military supported militants with artillery and rocket strikes.
Despite the Turkish support, militants failed to reach Saraqib city. The SAA’s 25th Special Forces Division and Lebanon’s Hezbollah repelled the attack in the outskirt of the city. The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) provided the city’s defenders with a close air support.
Turkish combat drones were not able to support the attack. However, the Turkish Air Force (TAF) made a failed attempt to shoot down a Syrian warplane near the city.
Initial reports indicate that Turkish-backed militants sustained catastrophic losses in the attack. Some pro-government sources claimed that up to 150 militants were neutralized around Saraqib.
A day earlier, a group of Turkish-backed militants attempted to stage a chemical provocation around Saraqib. However, they ended up poisoning themselves.
The repeated Turkish-led attacks on Saraqib are aimed at blocking the strategic Damascus-Aleppo highway, known as the M5. The highway runs through the city’s center. The SAA and its allies will not apparently allow this to happen.