In another clear violation of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement, unknown militants destroyed a 14,5mm machine gun of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the northern Lattakia countryside with an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) on October 20, according to several Syrian opposition sources.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, local observer believe that the attack was carried out by al-Qaeda-affiliated Horas al-Din or Ajnad al-Kavkaz. Both groups are mainly stationed in the opposition-held areas in northern Lattakia and northwestern Idlib.
The previous day witnessed several violations of the deconfliction agreement, mainly in northern Lattakia and around the city of Aleppo. Following these violations, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria argued the militants’ commanders to cease hostilities. However, it appears that some sides are interested in sabotaging the agreement.
So far, the SAA has limited its response to artillery strikes. This soft policy may be changed soon if militants continue their destructive actions. The alternative will likely be a military operation, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces.