On Wednesday, a commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and 4 other HTS fighters were killed in an airstrike carried out by an unidentified Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), according to Syrian opposition sources.
The commander was identified as Abu Bara’a al-Urduni. He was a Jordanian citizen, possibly a high ranked field commander of HTS. Al-Urduni was killed when the UCAV targeted a position of HTS north of Khan Shaykhun town in the southern Idlib countryside.
The UCAV is likely from the US-led coalition as the Russian Air Force does not operate any type of UCAVs. If confirmed this will be the first US-led coalition against HTS in months.
In a related development, Kurdish sources reported that the Turkish Army redeployed more Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups from the Northern Aleppo countryside to the Turkish border with Syria’s Idlib governorate.
Meanwhile, Mete Sohtaoğlu a Turkish journalist said on Twitter that Turkish Army reconnaissance teams completed its tasks. According to Sohtaoğlu, the reconnaissance teams set the routes that the Turkish Army will enter from. However, these claims are not confirmed yet by any side.
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) 11 October 2017
So far the main aims of the upcoming Turkish Army operation in Idlib governorate are still unknown. However, it’s highly unlikely that the Turkish Army will engage HTS, the Kurdish YPG and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the same time.