Russian jets pound HTS positions near Idlib city
Russian Sukhois light up multiple targets belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in northwestern Syria
By News Desk - August 22 2022

(ANAS AL-DYAB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Russian aerospace forces targeted a Hayyat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) location on 22 August, in the last opposition-held stronghold of the Idlib governorate.

Flying at a high altitude, Russian warplanes struck former military headquarters occupied by Hayyat Tahrir Al-Sham in Arab Saeed hamlet, just seven kilometers to the west of Idlib city, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR).

Along with the HTS sites, the jets also struck the surroundings of the Arab Saeed area where training camps for other Islamist factions are located.

At least 14 air raids have been registered without any reported casualties, according to the SOHR.

Pro-opposition media sources in the city said the strikes hit the perimeter of the regional electricity company, causing a complete blackout.

On the ground, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) fired several artillery shells over the rebel-held towns of Fleifel and Kafr Aweed that stretched on Al-Zawieh Mountain in southern rural Idlib.

During the last few months, shelling erupted daily between government troops and Islamist factions on the southeastern front-line of Idlib.

On 14 August, units of the Russian-backed Fifth Corps of the Syrian army eliminated the notorious local ISIS commander identified as Mahmoud Ahmad al-Hallaq in Tafas town in western Daraa countryside.

HTS formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra) and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, is a hard-line opposition umbrella group that aims to overthrow the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and establish an Islamic Emirate in Syria.

The group was formed in 2017 following a merger between al-Nusra Front (ANF) and several other groups. HTS controls a portion of the territory in northwest Syria.

In March 2020, Turkey and Russia agreed on a ceasefire deal in a bid to avoid a major escalation in Idlib, where 36 Turkish soldiers were killed during a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive.

In September 2018, Putin and Erdogan agreed to turn Idlib into a “de-escalation zone.” The area was intended to act as a buffer zone between the two sides, but fighting continues in the area.









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