On January 26, several people were wounded when a drone attacked the outskirts of the town of Qatrat al-Rihan in the northwestern countryside of Syria’s Hama.
The target of the drone attack was reportedly a position of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). It is still unclear if any of the wounded are service members.
This was the second such attack in less than a week. On January 23, a drone attacked the town of al-Suqaylabiyah, some 25 kilometers to the southeast of Qatrat al-Rihan, without causing any losses. Back then, a patrol of the Russian Military Police inspected the attack site.
Both drone attacks were most likely launched by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) from the northwestern region of Greater Idlib. The terrorist group, who manufactures and operates several types of makeshift drones, carried out several similar attacks in the past five years.
HTS has been working to disturb the ceasefire in Greater Idlib for more than a month now on the hopes of sabotaging Russia’s ongoing efforts to restore ties between Ankara and Damascus. In the last few weeks, the group raided several positions of the SAA around the region. Now it has apparently moved to drone attacks.
The terrorist group fears that Ankara could withdrew its forces from Greater Idlib in order to facilitate the rapprochement process. This would allow Damascus to resume large-scale ground operations in the region.
The recent attacks by HTS were a blatant violation of Greater Idlib ceasefire. The SAA and its allies will likely respond with brute force in the near future.