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APRIL 2021

Russian Warplanes Bombed HTS Stronghold In Eastern Idlib (Photos)

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Russian Warplanes Bombed HTS Stronghold In Eastern Idlib (Photos)

Su-34 fighter jet. IMAGE: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

On March 5, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out several airstrikes on the town of Ma’arrat Misrin in the eastern part of the Syrian Greater Idlib region.

The airstrikes, which were carried out by Su-34 fighter-bombers, wiped out several positions in the outskirts of Ma’arrat Misrin, a stronghold of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes didn’t result in any human losses.

The area between Ma’arrat Misrin, Kafriya, al-Fu’a and Binnish is infested with foreign jihadists. Many headquarters and camps of al-Qaeda factions are also located there.

The airstrikes came on the first anniversary of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was reached in a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A year into the ceasefire agreement, the situation in Greater Idlib is still far from being stable. Several terrorist groups rule the region.

Turkey deployed thousands of troops in dozens of posts in Greater Idlib. Yet, ceasefire violations take place on a daily basis. Furthermore, Ankara has failed to open the Lattakia-Aleppo highway, the M4, so far.

Damascus and its allies, first and foremost Russia, have stepped up their attacks on militants in Greater Idlib. However, a full-on operation in the region seems unlikely.

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