Dozens of terrorists of al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front were killed in the recent Russian airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, Major General Oleg Yegorov, deputy chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, revealed on September 8.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed a camp belonging to the terrorists of Al-Nusra organization in the town of Sheikh Yousef in Idlib, killing more than 120 terrorists,” the Russian commander said in a press release.
The al-Nusra Front, now known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), is the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib. The terrorist group and its allies in the region killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded four others over the past week in violation of the ceasefire agreement that was brokered by Russia and Turkey more than two years ago.
Two waves of Russian airstrikes hit Greater Idlib on September 8. The training camp was not the only target of the airstrikes. Several other positions of HTS, near the towns of Hafsarjah, Sheikh Yousef, Sijer and Ghafar in the western Idlib countryside, were struck.
Also on September 8, the Syrian Arab Army launched an OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile at the al-Rug Plain in the western Idlib countryside, where HTS maintains a network of positions.
While the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria said that more than 120 terrorists were killed in the airstrikes, local sources in Greater Idlib reported the death of seven people only. It should be noted that HTS is well-known for hiding its losses.
The Russian airstrikes and the Syrian missile attack on Greater Idlib were likely carried out to deter HTS and enforce the ceasefire agreement.