Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) announced on May 22 that a new batch of its snipers has completed training. The terrorist group claimed the new snipers are specialized in night operations and trained to use rifles equipped with thermal sights.
Iba’a, the HTS news agency, released photos of the new recruits armed with AKM-47 and AK-74-type assault rifles as well as Romanian PSL sniper rifles. Only few of the rifles were equipped with Pulsar Apex XD75 and Fortuna One 3XL/6XL thermal sights.
HTS is taking advantage of the current ceasefire in Greater Idlib, brokered by Russia and Turkey on March 5, to rebuild its military capabilities.
Earlier this week, the terrorist group said that a large batch of new recruits has jointed its special forces, known as the “Red Bands.” Other units completed a “military enhancement” training course.
The HTS military buildup could jeopardize the March 5 agreement. If the agreement collapses, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies will likely resume military operations in Greater Idlib.