On June 6, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery shelled several positions of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies in the town of Khirbat Marata in the southwestern Aleppo countryside and in the district of al-Zahra west of the city.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that the shelling was response to an attack of HTS on a position of the SAA in the area of Khan Touman on June 5. Back then, the attack failed and the SAA managed to kill and injure 15 fighters of HTS.
In related development, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of airstrikes on positions of the al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group Horas al-Din in the towns of Urum al-Jawz, Bsheiriyeh and Ariha in the northwestern Idlib countryside.
According to the SOHR, these airstrikes were a response to an attack of Horas al-Din on a position of the SAA in the area of Ard al-Wata in the northern Lattakia countryside on June 2. During the attack, Horas al-Din fighters killed two soldiers of the SAA.
Last month, HTS and several other militant groups stepped up their attacks on the SAA in the governorates of Aleppo and Lattakia. Local observers believe that the establishment of the Turkish observation posts there encouraged had these groups, as they viewed these posts as a cover for their actions.