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Russian Airstrikes Hit Southern Greater Idlib Amid Talk Of Ground Operation (Photos)

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Russian Airstrikes Hit Southern Greater Idlib Amid Talk Of Ground Operation (Photos)

FILE PHOTO: Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft before departing for its permanent base in Russia from Khmeimim Air Base in Syria. © Vadim Grishankin / Sputnik

On September 11, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a number of airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib where several terrorist groups are known to be present and active.

The airstrikes targeted the outskirts of Kansafra, a town located in the southern countryside of Idlib. The town is an infamous stronghold of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib.

Russian warplanes have been bombing positions and equipment of HTS and its allies in Greater Idlib for more than three weeks now. This led to speculations of a near ground operation in the region.

On September 10, Omar Rahmoun, a spokesman for the reconciliation committee in Syria, claimed that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will launch a large-scale ground operation in Greater Idlib very soon. Rahmoun said that the main goal of the operation will be to open and secure the M4 highway, which links the port of Lattakia with Aleppo city, Syria’s industrial hub.

Any ground operation by the SAA and its allies will likely lead to a confrontation with Turkish forces in Greater Idlib. Ankara continues to shield HTS and its allies despite risking the lives of its own troops. A recent attack in the Syrian region claimed the lives of two Turkish soldiers and wounded three others.

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