On March 11, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted a series of pinpoint airstrikes on positions of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the city of Idlib, according to the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi.
A headquarter of the Justice and Local Administration Ministry of the HTS-linked Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) was among the targets destroyed by Russian warplanes.
The airstrikes on HTS targets in Idlib were likely a response to an earlier attack with armed unmanned aerial uehicles (UAVs), which had targeted the Russian Aerospace Forces’ airbase at Hmeimim in Lattakia governorate.
Russian warplanes also conducted more than six airstrikes on headquarters and ammo depots of HTS in its stronghold of Binnish in the eastern Idlib countryside. The number of HTS fighters who were killed in these airstrikes is yet to be known.
Syrian pro-government activists said that the airstrikes on Binnish had been a response to the HTS shelling on the besieged towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya north of Binnish. Over the last two weeks, HTS strikes had killed and injured several civilians, including women and children, inside the besieged towns.
This HTS behavior could force Russia and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to resume their military operation in Idlib governorate once they finish their operations in the East Ghouta region.