In a surprise attack early on September 11, Russian warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on militants’ positions in Greater Idlib.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the Russian airstrikes targeted several positions east of the town of Kafar Takharim and south of the town of Darkush, which are located near the Turkish border.
The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) halted their operations in Greater Idlib two weeks ago under a new ceasefire. However, al-Qaeda-affilated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies violated the ceasefire on several occasions.
On September 3, the militants launched several armed drones at Russia’s Hmeimim airbase on the Syrian coast. Three days later, a similar attack targeted a Syrian military base in northwestern Hama.
The Russian airstrikes were likely a response to these repeated violations, which are jeopardizing the ceasefire. These violations could eventuality force the Syrian military to resume its ground operations in Greater Idlib.