In a new violation of the Russian-Turkish Demilitarized zone agreement, militants of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [the former branch of al-Qaeda] launched several rockets at the government-held towns of Safsafiyah and Khirbat Damas in the northern Hama countryside on December 16, according to the Syrian Arab News agency (SANA).
“The terrorist rocket attack caused material damage, however no civilians were wounded,” the SANA’s reporter in Hama said.
The SAA responded to this violation and shelled positions of HTS north of the two towns. As a result, several military equipment of the radical group were destroyed and many militants were wounded.
A day earlier, the SAA repelled an attack by HTS’ ally, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), on towns in the government-held part of the northern Hama countryside. After repelling the attack, the army artillery targeted positions of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the towns of al-Ziyarah and Sirmaniyah.
These repeated violations may force the SAA and its allies to launch a limited military operation within the demilitarized zone around the governorate of Idlib. Such an operation could deter the militants and force them to comply with the agreement.
More on this topic: