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On August 27, joint forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups launched an attack on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the town of Abu Dali in southern Idlib. Clashes between the SAA and militants erupted in the villages of Tal Maraq, Salmuia, Jaduia, Sham Al-Hawa and Abi Omar. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham employed at least one suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device. Nonetheless, they were not able to overrun the SAA defense.
Pro-militant sources claimed that militant forces captured a battle tank and 3 armoured vehicles from the SAA. Pro-government sources reported that at least 37 militants were killed and a T-55 battle tank and a BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle belonging to them were destroyed.
The developments near Abu Dali, a Russian observation post is located in the same area, demonstrate that no real de-escalation of the situation in Idlib is possible while Hayat Tahrir al-Sham operates there.
Meanwhile, the SAA deployed a batch of reinforcements to northern Lattakia. Pro-government forces have been seeing the militant-held town of Kinsabah as a high priority target in the area. However, all previous attempts to capture it have resulted in no progress.
On August 28, pro-militant sources reported that a supposed Syrian Air Force airstrike hit a Turkish observation post near Sheir Magher in northwestern Hama. Later, it appeared that the Syrian Su-24 dropped a strike near the post causing no damage to it. The Turkish Defense Ministry also denied that any of its posts was targeted.
Radical militant groups, including Hayat Tahrlr a-Sham, often deploy their positions used to shell SAA positions near Turkish observation posts using Turkish troops as de-facto human shields.
On the same day, Jaysh al-Nasir reported that one of its field commanders, Mohamad Turki, and two of his body guards were eliminated near the town of Alhakorh. The group blamed Russian special forces.
The situation on the contact line in southern Idlib remains tense.