On July 16, field journalist Oleg Blokhin shared photos of Russian Special Operations Forces assaulting militants’ positions in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The photos show the Russian service members firing a number of D-30 and D-30A howitzers of the Syrian Arab Army. The 122 mm howitzer has a maximum range of 21.9 km with rocket-assisted projectile.
Russian forces usually use guided artillery shells. In his case, it was likely the KITOLOV-2M, a 122 mm shell guided by semi-active laser. The shell has a range of up to 13,5 km.
The Russian artillery strikes were carried out on July 14 and 15 in a response to the recent attack on a joint Russian-Turkish patrol on the M4 highway in Greater Idlib. The Russian Aerospace Forces also conducted airstrikes on the region in response to the attack.
Russian Special Operations Forces are active in several parts of Syria, especially in Greater Idlib. These well-trained and equipped units carry out reconnaissance and anti-terrorism operations in the region on a regular basis.