Late on September 13, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched several heavy rockets at the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man in the southern Idlib countryside.
The strike was reportedly carried out with a BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launcher (MRL). The BM-30 can launch a variety of rockets with ranges up to 90km.
Ma`arat al-Nu`man is the biggest urban center in southern Idlib. The city is located on the strategic M5 highway, which links the Syrian capital, Damascus with Aleppo, the country’s industrial hub.
Earlier, Russian warplanes carried out two airstrikes at the towns of Deir Sunbul and Shnan, west of Ma`arat al-Nu`man. Warplanes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) also targeted the city’s outskirt with several airstrikes.
These intense strikes suggest that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing to resume its ground operations in Greater Idlib soon.