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DECEMBER 2021

Russian Airstrikes Hit Greater Idlib As Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham Prepares For Chemical Weapons Provocation

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Russian Airstrikes Hit Greater Idlib As Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham Prepares For Chemical Weapons Provocation

A Russian Su-24 strike aircraft in the sky over the Khmeimim airbase in Syria. Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti

On October 3, a new wave of Russian airstrikes hit the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is in control.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Russian airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the town of Kinda in the western countryside of Idlib as well as the al-Akrad Mount in the northern Lattakia countryside.

 

The ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey last year, appears to be on the brink of complete collapse. Turkey placed its troops in the region on high-alert following reports of a near attack by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart failed to reach a new agreement to stabilize the Syrian region during a recent meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

A recent report by Sputnik revealed that HTS and its allies are preparing a provocation in Greater Idlib with chemical-armed rockets, possibly to hinder any operation by the SAA.

Citing sources in Greater Idlib, the Russian news agency said that HTS moved eight newly-made rockets, armed with chlorine and sarin, with help from the Western-backed White Helmets organization and the Turkistan Islamic Party from one of its headquarters in the outskirts of Idlib city to al-Ghab Plains in the northwestern Hama countryside and the town of Ehsim in the southern countryside of Idlib.

HTS believes that a false-flag chemical attack in Greater Idlib could provoke military strikes by the US and its Western allies against the SAA. The US and its allies, namely the UK and France, carried out such strikes in 2017 and 2018.

Sputnik’s report confirms that HTS and its allies are preparing for a Russian-backed large-scale operation by the SAA. The militants are apparently willing to do about everything in order to stop such an operation.

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