In a major violation of the new ceasefire agreement, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies shot down an unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) over the town of Hesh in southern Idlib on August 31.
HTS said that the UAV was being operated by the Russian Aerospace Forces. However, photos of the UAV’s wreckage suggest otherwise.
“The factions of al-Fath al-Mubin [HTS-led operations room] shot down a Russian UAV in the outskirt of the town of Hesh in southern Idlib,” a short statement rereleased by the terrorist group’s news network, Iba’a, reads.
Contrary to HTS’ claims, the UAV design appears to be similar to Iranian drones operated by the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF), such as Muhagir-4 and Ababil-3. The UAV may be a Syrian copy of one of these Iranian types.
A new ceasefire began a few hours before the shot down of the UAV. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had warned that it will respond to any violation.
By shooting down the UAV, HTS and its allies are demonstrating that they are unwilling to accept any peaceful solution in Greater Idlib. This will likely force the army to resume its operations in the region soon.