UPDATE: The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that its warplanes had delivered strikes on terrorist targets in Idlib.
For the first time in several months, warplanes reportedly belonging to the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of airstrikes on militants’ positions in the center of the northern city of Idlib.
The new wave of airstrikes was not limited to the city, several positions southeast of Idlib were also targeted. One of the positions was the main prison of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria].
Syrian opposition sources said that hundreds of prisoners, including dozens of alleged operatives of the Syria and Russian intelligence managed to escape from HTS’ main prison after the airstrike. According to the available information, the airstrike didn’t result in any casualties.
In order to prevent the prisoners from escaping, HTS declared Idlib city’s countryside a military zone and began a search operation there. Sources close to the terrorist group threatened that any civilian that would help the prisoners with severe punishment.
The new strikes on Idlib are likely a response to the recent rocket attack on the coastal city of Lattakia. At least one civilian was injured in the attack, which also caused material damage.