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DECEMBER 2021

Russian Aerospace Forces Target Militants In Turkish-Occupied Afrin, Step Up Airstrikes On Greater Idlib (Videos, Photos)

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Russian Aerospace Forces Target Militants In Turkish-Occupied Afrin, Step Up Airstrikes On Greater Idlib (Videos, Photos)

A Russian Su-24 takes off on a combat mission at Hemeimeem airbase, Syria, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. IMAGE: AP PHOTO/VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

On September 25, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) carried out at least five airstrikes on the Turkish-occupied northern Syrian area of Afrin.

The airstrikes targeted positions of the al-Shamiya Front located near the town of Bosoufane in the southern part of Afrin. Several militants of the Turkish-backed group were reportedly killed or wounded as a result of the airstrikes.

The Russian airstrikes were a response to an attack by Turkish-backed militants that targeted a post of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) located to the south of Afrin in early morning.

According to the Analytical Network News Agency, the attack was repelled by the SAA. At least five militants were killed. A Turkish-made HAR-66 anti-tank rocket propelled grenade was left behind by the attackers.

The VKS also responded to recent violations of the ceasefire agreement in Greater Idlib by targeting positions of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies in diffident parts of the region.

Late on September 24, Russian warplanes bombed positions located in the outskirts of the town of Darat Izza in the western Aleppo countryside.

On September 25, Russian warplanes carried out more airstrikes on the region. More than 12 airstrikes hit the southern, western and eastern countryside of Idlib as well as the northwestern countryside of Hama and the northern Lattakia countryside.

In northern Lattakia, a militant who worked as a frontline observer was killed along with an Albanian jihadist as a result of Russian airstrikes.

The SAA and its allies may soon launch a large-scale ground operation in Greater Idlib in order to reinforce the ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey last year.

Ankara, who maintains a large, heavily-armed military force in the Syrian region, will likely take action to stop such an operation.

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