On August 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the southern Idlib countryside with “long-range rockets,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The rocket strikes, which took place in the morning, targeted the vicinity of the towns of Haranabush and al-Sheikh Bahr in the al-Zawiya Mount. No losses were reported as a result of the strikes.
The SAA likely used BM-27 Uragan or BM-30 Smerch heavy rocket launchers. The BM-27 has a range of 37 km, while the more advance BM-30 can hit targets 90 km away. Both systems can launch cluster rockets armed with anti-tank munitions.
A day earlier, Russian warplanes targeted the same towns in the al-Zawiya Mount. The airstrikes were a response to a new attack on a joint Russian-Turkish patrol on the M4 highway.
The al-Zawiya Mount is occupied by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation.
Recent reports revealed that the SAA is preparing to launch a new operation in the al-Zawiya Mount. The militants may launch a preemptive attack from this area.