On December 23, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out dozens of airstrikes on positions of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in southwestern Aleppo, northern Hama and southern Idlib, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
Syrian oppositions sources also reported that the Syrian Arab Army shelled the positions of HTS in the towns of al-Lataminah, Qalaat al-Madiq and Kafr Zita in the northern Hama countryside with a TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system as well as BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers (MRLs).
The pro-oppositions Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that the Russian and Syrian bombardment didn’t result in any civilians casualties.
The Russian and Syrian strikes are likely the first stage of the long awaited wide-scaled military operation against HTS and its allies in Idlib governorate. While many Syrian pro-government activists believe that the final aim of the upcoming operation is the Abu Duhur airbase in the southwestern Aleppo countryside, the operation could go as far as advancing deeper into Idlib governatore, according to others.