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After a short hiatus, Israel is back to bombing Syrian territory.
Late on July 19, a series of Israeli strikes hit the northern Syrian governorate of Aleppo.
The airstrikes targeted the al-Safirah defense factories, 21 km to the south of Aleppo city.
Prior to the 2013 deal, the factories produced chemical weapons.
Now they simply produce conventional armaments and ammunition.
Despite some successful interceptions, several explosions were reported inside the al-Safira defense factories, with footage shared on social media.
These Israeli raids came a day after militants from the so-called “moderate opposition” in Greater Idlib shelled Aleppo city, striking a civilian building.
The 122 mm rockets used in the attack were Turkish-made T-122 type Sakarya.
Rockets of this type have been supplied to many factions in Greater Idlib in the last few years.
Ansar al-Islam boasted with its Turkish-made mortar shells, posting pictures of the ones it had fired on the SAA.
The militant group is a part of the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, which is led by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
Several Turkish-backed factions are also members of the operations room.
Hours after the Israeli raids, HTS militants also bombarded the city of Qardaha and the town of Slanfeh in the Lattakia countryside.
In the southern part of Idlib, HTS and Ansar al-Islam bombed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions in Jabala, and other locations nearby.
Ceasefire violations are quite common, and are carried out by both HTS and and Ansar al-Islam.
This is a consequence of Turkey turning a blind eye to the ceasefire agreement, signed in March 2020.
The SAA and its Russian support are generally obligated to respond to the ceasefire breaches, sometimes in a disproportionate manner.
What’s more is that even the Turkish forces sometimes respond, shelling SAA positions, as well as frequently shelling any Kurdish group that they deem related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Ankara, thus, is not a part of the solution, but rather a party that contributes to the violations and carries out many of its own violations aimed towards various targets.
Afrin has been occupied by Turkish forces for a while, with the SAA steadily preparing to retake it, while militants often gather around the city to carry out attacks on Aleppo and other nearby locations.
Likely expecting that the situation with the provocations might reach critical mass, the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, the largest military formation in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, placed its militants on high alert.
Quite conveniently Israel deemed it necessary to target a weapons factory in the most volatile region.