On August 27, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled militants’ positions in the southwestern Idlib countryside with heavy rockets.
According to opposition activists, the rocket strikes targeted positions in the outskirts of the town of al-Almaouzrah. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other terrorist groups are known to be active near the town.
The strikes were likely carried out with BM-27 Uragan or BM-30 Smerch heavy rocket launchers. The BM-27 has a range of 37 km, while the BM-30 can hit targets 90 km away. Both systems can launch a variety of rockets, some armed with anti-tank munitions.
The rocket strikes were likely a response to recent provocations by Greater Idlib militants. A day earlier, the militants shelled civilian areas in northeastern Hama. An army post in southern Idlib was also targeted.
The al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, which is led by HTS, is responsible for all the recent attacks on SAA troops in Greater Idlib.
Some of al-Fateh al-Mubeen factions, including the National Front for Liberation, are receiving direct military support from Turkey. Ankara is apparently using the militants to deter the SAA in a blatant violation of the March 5 agreement with Moscow.