On March 5, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the northwestern region of Greater Idlib where many terrorist groups are present and active.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the army’s artillery fired dozens of shells at the outskirts of the towns of Kansafra, Sufuhon and Fleifel in the southern Idlib countryside and the town of al-Zeyarah in the northwestern countryside of Hama.
The London-based monitoring group noted that Russian drones were flying over the targeted areas at the time of the shelling.
Following the artillery strikes, SAA troops clashed with militants near the town of al-Dwair in the southern countryside of Idlib and in the outskirts of the town of Miznaz in the western Aleppo countryside.
The SAA’s artillery strikes were likely a response to recent violations of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the region, and its allies.
The army appears to be cautious about the situation in Greater Idlib. Large reinforcements were recently deployed around the region.
HTS and its allies, with support from Turkish forces, may attempt to take advantage of the ongoing war in Ukraine by launching a large-scale attack on government-held areas around Greater Idlib. Militants in the region seem to think that Russia is too busy in Ukraine to react in Syria, which is a wrong calculation.