UPDATE: Pro-government sources did not report any notable clashes in the area last night or active operations involving Russian units there. According to them, the incident involving the Russian special forces operator may have happened several weeks (or even months) ago. However, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham propaganda and their Turkish sponsors opted to use the obtained photos in September to create a media victory to compensate the losses and destructions caused by the Russian bombing campaign against the terrorist infrastructure in Idlib.
Meanwhile, details of the incident and the fate of the alleged Russian special forces operator involved in it remain unclear. In general, the Russian Defense Ministry reports all casualties among Russian service members deployed. Furthermore, militants did not show the body of the supposedly killed fighter. Therefore, if the incident really took place, the Russian soldier most likely received injures and then was evacuated.
Sources loyal to the Turkish-backed terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) claim that its members had killed a Russian special forces operator on the contact line near Kafranbel in southern Idlib.
Militants claim that they repelled an attack of pro-government forces there inflicting multiple casualties to the Syrian Army and its allies. Photos showing the equipment of the alleged Russian special forces operator were released by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham media wing.
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- Military Situation In Syria On September 21, 2020 (Map Update)