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SEPTEMBER 2020

HTS Recaptures Key Southeast Idlib Position From Syrian Army In Surprise Attack

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Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) recaptured al-Katibat al-Mahjura in southeast Idlib from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in a surprise attack early on December 11.

The attack was carried out the terrorist group’s Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Army and the special forces unit, known as the “Red Bands.” Army units were pushed out of the position within a few hours. No heavy clashes were reported.

HTS Recaptures Key Southeast Idlib Position From Syrian Army In Surprise Attack

Click to see full-size map. Source: (@Suriyakmaps) on Twitter.

Al-Katibat al-Mahjura [the abandoned base in Arabic] is a former Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) base, which overlooks HTS-held Umm al-Tinah. The army captured the base last week.

HTS’s news network, Iba’a, claimed that the SAA made a failed attempt to recapture al-Katibat al-Mahjura in the afternoon. However, these claims have not been verified, so far.

A source in HTS told Iba’a that the attack on al-Katibat al-Mahjura was a response to remarks by Russia’s Foreign Minister, who said a day earlier that Idlib should be liberated from terrorists. The terrorist group is exploiting the Russian-Turkish brokered ceasefire to consolidate its own influence in Greater Idlib.

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