In the late hours of February 23, radical militants launched several rockets at the town of Qardaha in western Lattakia, which is the hometown of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. The rocket attack didn’t result in any loses, according to local sources.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, Syrian pro-government activists believe that it was carried out by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.
The attack on Qardaha was the latest in a series of violations of the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement by militants. In the last few days, radical militants targeted residential areas in Lattakia, Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces killing at least one civilian.
In response to this attack, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) destroyed several rocket launchers belonging to militants. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that the launchers were stationed in the towns of Murak, al-Lataminah and Kafr Zita in the northern Hama countryside and the town of Hbit in the southern Idlib countryside.
Repeated ceasefire violations pose a serious challenge to the demilitarized zone agreement, which appears to be on the brink of collapse. A day earlier, Syrian opposition sources revealed that Turkish forces will soon patrol the zone in order to reinforce a ceasefire. However, local observers doubt that this step, even if it’s implemented, will change the situation strategically.
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