On April 2, a militants of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) was killed and three others were wounded when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery shelled positions of the terrorist group near the town of al-Fatterah in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Al-Fatterah is located in al-Zawiya Mount, in the southern countryside of Idlib. The town is known to be a stronghold of HTS, the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib.
The death toll from the SAA’s artillery strikes may rise in the upcoming few hours. One of the wounded militants is reportedly in a critical condition.
In the early morning hours, the SAA shelled al-Fatterah as well as the towns of Sufuhon, Benin and Fleifel which are also located in al-Zawiya Mount.
The SAA’s artillery strikes were most likely a response to recent violations of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey more than two years ago. In the last few days, HTS and its allies carried out several indirect fire attacks on civilian areas and military positions around Greater Idlib.
Despite repeated violations, the ceasefire in Greater Idlib is still holding up. A large-scale military confrontation in the region seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. HTS has been taking advantage of the current situation to tighten its grip on the region.