For the first time in more than five months, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a barrage of heavy rockets at terrorist positions inside the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the northwestern part of Idlib on March 6.
A coalition of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured this city in June 2015 after weeks of clashes with the SAA. Back then, the al-Nusra Front killed or expelled most of the locals and blew up their houses as a punishment for their support to the government.
Later, al-Nusra [now known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham] allowed the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) to settle in the city. Thousands of foreign terrorists and their families are currently living there, almost with no Syrian presence.
The SAA halted its attacks on Jisr al-Shughur under the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement, which was reached last September. However, the TIP didn’t respect the agreement. It continued to expand its presence within the city under the eyes of Turkish forces who established an observation post in a nearby area.
The new rocket attack on Jisr al-Shughur was reportedly a response to the terrorists’ shelling on the town of Jurin in northwestern Hama. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the shelling killed a child and injured four other civilians.
Local observers believe that the SAA will expand its attacks within Idlib further in the upcoming days. Some sources even reported that a military operation is being prepared. However, this is yet to be confirmed.