On July 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) targeted militants’ positions in the Zawiya Mount in the southern countryside of Idlib with more than 200 artillery shells and rockets, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based monitoring group said the shelling had targeted the towns of Kansafra, Ain La Rose, al-Bara, Kafar Aweed, Almaouzrah, Baluon, Fatterah and Erinah.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and its allies responded by shelling SAA positions in the town of Kafr Nabl in the southern Idlib countryside. No losses were reported.
In the last few days, the SAA amassed a large offensive force on the frontlines near the Zawiya Mount. Recent reports said that the army and its allies were preparing to launch a new military operation in Greater Idlib.
Fearing a new military operation by the SAA, HTS and its allies deployed reinforcements in the Zawiya Mount and put their forces on high alerts.
A new operation by the SAA could facilitate the implementation of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement signed on March 5. One of the agreement’s key terms is the elimination of terrorist groups occupying Greater Idlib, mainly HTS. Ankara committed to fulfill this term. However, its forces are yet to fulfil their the obligations.