The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery and heavy rocket launchers shelled several towns in the opposition-held part of the governorates of Idlib and Hama on January 19, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The pro-opposition monitoring group said that the shelling targeted the towns of Sahal, Brisah, Hbit and Najiyeh in Idlib and the towns of Jisr Beit al-Ras, Maarkaba, Kafr Zita and al-Janabirah in Hama.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the artillery and rocket strikes were a response to new violations of the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement. The state-run agency claimed that the strikes killed and injured many militants and destroyed some of their military equipment.
Earlier, Turkey’s national defense minister claimed that his country is implementing its commitments within the demilitarized zone agreement. However, the tense situation around Idlib shows otherwise.
Local observers believe that the SAA and its allies may launch a limited military operation around Idlib, if the upcoming Russian-Turkish presidential summit fail to find a solution for the deteriorating situation around the northern governorate.