Early on October 7, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out four airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the town of Bsanqul in the southern countryside of Idlib. A network of defensive positions of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib, and its allies is located in the area.
اليوم فجرا نفذت الطائرات الحربية الروسية أربع غارات جوية على حرش بسنقول غرب ادلب pic.twitter.com/fSk986ykXU
— انس المعراوي (@anasanas84) October 7, 2021
Later in the morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the towns of Sufuhon, Fleifel, Mantef, al-Ruwaiha, al-Bara and Kansafra with artillery rounds and rockets. The towns are located in the mountainous area of the al-Zawiya in the southern countryside of Idlib.
The Russian and Syrian strikes were likely a response to the repeated violations of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib. HTS and its allies violate the ceasefire, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey last year, on a daily basis.
Currently, the SAA is making preparations for a possible ground operation in Greater Idlib. The operation will reportedly target the M4 highway, which links the port city of Lattakia with the city of Aleppo, Syria’s main industrial hub.
A new operation by the SAA and its allies will almost certainly lead to a military confrontation with the Turkish military that maintains more than 60 positions in the region. Ankara is still not willing to give up on the terrorist-infested region despite recent attacks on its troops there.
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