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Syria’s Greater Idlib is a gunpowder keg that keeps getting more volatile with each passing day.
On August 24th, a large explosion hit a training camp of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the Tal Sandal area, north of Idlib city.
According to initial reports, at least 14 militants were killed, 15 others were injured as a result of the explosion.
It is unclear what caused the explosion.
According to London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an armed drone of the International Coalition was flying over the region at the time of the explosion.
However, the US and its allies are attempting to rebrand HTS as a non-terrorist group, as they urgently need a new, capable ally in Syria.
An “opposition activist”, Mohamad Rasheed claimed that a mistake during training on mortars was the reason behind the blast.
Another viable explanation is that a strike of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) may also be behind the explosion.
Earlier on August 24th, Russian warplanes targeted militant positions in the western Idlib countryside for the sixth day in a row.
On the day before, warplanes of the Russian VKS carried out a series of airstrikes targeting militant positions in the outskirts of the town of al-Bara in the al-Zawiya Mount region in southern Idlib.
At the same time, the artillery of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the villages of Shanan and Benin in the Jabal al-Zawiya region and the village of al-Qahira in the al-Suqaylabiyah District in Hama Governorate.
The renewed Russian airstrike campaign has been happening every single day since August 19th.
The air raids by Russia and the shelling by SAA are all in response to the frequent ceasefire violations by HTS, as well as Turkish-backed militants.
To the east of Idlib, in the Aleppo countryside, on August 23rd, an explosion took place in the town of Aazaz. The blast injured at least 7 civilians.
The town is under the control of Turkish-backed militant groups. It regularly suffers from terrorist attacks carried out as a part of the regular infighting among the factions.
Separately, more than 30 civilians were reportedly kidnapped by Turkish-backed factions in Afrin city, which is occupied by Ankara’s forces. According to local media, terrorists from “al-Jabha al-Shamiya” and “Sultan Murad Division” carried out the kidnappings and are torturing the civilians for unknown reasons.
Still, in both the Idlib and Aleppo governorates, civilians bear the brunt of the occupation by terrorist groups and the constant fighting.