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Intense Russian Airstrikes Hit Greater Idlib Following Ceasefire Violations (Videos, Photos)

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Intense Russian Airstrikes Hit Greater Idlib Following Ceasefire Violations (Videos, Photos)

A Russian Su-24 takes off on a combat mission at Hemeimeem airbase, Syria, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. IMAGE: AP PHOTO/VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

On December 27, a new wave of Russian airstrikes hit the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where several terrorist groups are based.

At least six airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the town of Sheikh Bahir in the northern Idlib countryside, while three others targeted the town of Ma’arrat Misrin in the eastern countryside of the governorate.

The targets were likely positions of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib. The terrorist group maintain a large presence near Sheikh Bahir and Ma’arrat Misrin.

The Russian airstrikes were likely a response to recent violations of the ceasefire agreement by HTS and its allies. At least three sniper and indirect fire attacks targeted Syrian Arab Army troops in Greater Idlib on December 26 and 27. No losses were reported, however.

Russian warplanes have been pounding the positions of HTS and its allies in Greater Idlib for the last three days. On December 25, a series of airstrikes hit Ma’arrat Misrin. On December 26, several airstrikes hit the outskirts of the town of Darat Izza in the western countryside of Aleppo.

Russian airstrikes on Greater Idlib will not likely stop until HTS and its allies adhere to the ceasefire agreement, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey more than a year ago.

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