Escalation in Greater Idlib: Militant attacks leave casualties on two fronts

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies continue to violate the ceasefire in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey more than a year ago.

Photo: Southfront

On April 13, militants of the HTS-led al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations room attacked Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops near the town of al-Hakorh in northwestern Hama. A vehicle was destroyed with an anti-tank guided missile.

According to opposition sources, three officers were killed in the attack. One of the alleged casualties was identified as Lt. Sumar As’ad Murshid.

On April 14, al-Fateh al-Mubeen militants shelled a number of SAA positions in the al-Akrad Mount in northern Lattakia. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed in a report that two soldiers of the SAA were killed in the shelling. This is yet to be verified.

The SAA responded to these violations by shelling militants’ positions in Greater Idlib, mainly in the al-Zawiya Mount in southern Idlib. A more serious response by the Russian Aerospace Forces is likely to take place soon.

More than a year after the Russian-Turkish agreement, which was signed on March 5 2020, Greater Idlib is still far from being stable. The main destabilizing factor in the region is the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, which is indirectly backed by Ankara itself.

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