Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) announced on January 15 that its militants had shelled Iranian forces’ positions in western Aleppo.
The terrorist group’s news network, Iba’a, released photos showing launches of several “Elephant” improvised rocket-assisted munitions (IRAMs) on alleged Iranian positions in the vicinity of the Artillery Academy at the targets west of Aleppo’s city center.
Earlier this month, HTS sabotaged a new ceasefire, brokered by Russia and Turkey, by launching several rocket attacks on military sites and urban areas around Greater Idlib. One of the attacks targeted Aleppo’s city center. Three civilians were killed as a result.
HTS’ attacks on Aleppo come amid reports of a possible military operation there by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). In the last few weeks, the army amassed a large force, including the elite 4th Division, in Aleppo.
According to pro-government sources, the planned military operation around Aleppo will be aimed at clearing the city’s western, northwestern and southwestern outskirts. From there, HTS and its allies are launching their rocket attacks on the city’s center.
While it’s unclear if the SAA is still planning to launch the Aleppo operation, the intense Syrian and Russian airstrikes on Greater Idlib indicate that the ceasefire may end soon.