Ahrar al-Sharqiya shelled on July 17 Hmeimim airbase on the Syrian coast marking the first ever attack on the Russian base by a group directly controlled by Turkey.
The group released photos showing its fighters launching two Grad rockets on the airbase, confirming its responsibility for the attack.
Local sources in the coastal district of Jableh reported that two rockets had landed in an urban area kilometers away from the airbase. The rockets didn’t cause any damage.
Ahrar al-Sharqiya is a part of the so called National Syrian Army (NSA), a coalition of Turkish-backed armed groups that was formed in late 2017. Ankara is reportedly heavily involved in the management of the coalition, which is controlling the Euphrates Shield (ES) region and the occupied area of Afrin.
It is still unclear if Turkey had any prior knowledge of the attack on Hmeimim. Turkish-backed groups carried out some unauthorized attacks during the last two years. The upcoming days will likely reveal more details. Ankara usually punishes commanders responsible for unauthorized actions.