On the afternoon of February 28, warplanes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out several airstrikes on militants’ targets in the southern Idlib countryside.
The Syrian pro-government blog, al-Masdar News, claimed that only Syrian warplanes were involved and the airstrikes targeted a convoy of radical militants that was moving between the towns of Saraqib and Khan Shaykhun. However, this is yet to be confirmed.
The aerial attack was a response to a several recent violations of the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement. Most of these violations were carried out by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its close ally, Jaysh al-Izza.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that HTS and its allies are developing their offensive capabilities and planning to expand their influence in northwestern Syria.
Despite of the deteriorating situation in the demilitarized zone, Russia and its allies are apparently still committed to the agreement with Turkey.