On January 28, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) conducted over 75 airstrikes on positions, ammo depots and vehicles of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) near the town of Saraqib in the southern Idlib countryside, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
The sources added that Russian and Syrian warplanes also targeted the positions of HTS near the towns of Maarrat al-Nu’man and Kafr Nabl in the southern Idlib countryside.
From its side, the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a reported that HTS fighters repelled several attacks of the SAA on their positions in the Abu Duhur area in the eastern Idlib countryside. Syrian opposition source said earlier that notable parts of the town are still under the control of HTS and its allies.
The heavy Russian and Syrian bombardment may be the first phase of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) new military operation to break the HTS siege on the towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya, 13km north of the town of Saraqib. Observers believe that the SAA will launch its ground attack after the upcoming Sochi conference on January 29-30.