The New Year came to the Syrian Greater Idlib with air raids by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) and intense shellings between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and local militants.
On December 31, the VKS carried out airstrikes on the positions of terrorists in the Kansafrah and al-Barah area in southern Idlib. At least four air strikes reportedly hit the Kansafrah – al-Barah axis.
Russian airstrikes were aso reported in the villages of al-Mawzarah and Balyun in southern Idlib.
The same day, Russian warplanes carried out another wave of airstrike near the Kafr Daryan village located to the North of the city of Idlib, not far from the Turkish border. One of the targets was claimed to be a civilian farm.
Russian warplanes targeted the Nahr al-Abyad area in the countryside of Jisr al-Shughur, west of Idlib.
The air strikes resumed at night. The Jabal al-Zawiyah area in the southern Idlib was targeted.
Russian war planes have conducted air strikes on the village of Mashoun in the Jabal Zawiya in the southern countryside of Idlib pic.twitter.com/vMRKCqzufK
— Spriter (@spriter99880) December 31, 2021
The air strikes were carried out simultaneously with intense fire exchanges between the SAA and militants in southern Idlib governorate as well as in Aleppo countryside.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib reportedly targeted SAA positions in Hazarin, Milajah, Kafr Nabl, Saraqib while the SAA responded by shelling Kansafrah, al-Fatirah, and al-Ankawi villages. Shellings were also reported in Benin and Atarib areas in western Aleppo governorate. On January 1, artillery of Turkish-backed militants shelled SAA positions in the Jurin area.
The recent escalation in Syria’s Greater Idlib followed the 17th round in Astana Peace Talks initiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran. It likely ended with no agreement between the warring parties. The final statement of the 17th session mostly tackled issues of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, terrorism, and humanitarian assistance.
The new wave of hostilities likely indicates the lack of any significant advance in the negotiation process and brings the Russian message to Turkey.
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