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U.S.-Led Coalition Denies Responsibility For Strikes On Syria, Unlike Russia

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U.S.-Led Coalition Denies Responsibility For Strikes On Syria, Unlike Russia
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The U.S.-led international coalition denied responsibility for a drone attack that allegedly targeted al-Qaeda affiliated Horas al-Din commanders. Sources in Greater Idlib said that the target of the drone strike was either sheikh Abu al-Bar’a al-Tunisi, a leader of al-Qaeda-linked Horas al-Din, or the terrorist group’s military commander Abu Hamzah al-Yamani.

In its turn, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby claimed the U.S. strike was a success, referring to the data of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces, which recognized responsibility for the strike.

Once again Washington proved its unwillingness to defer to its allies.

This is the first US drone strike to target Syria’s Greater Idlib since President Joe Biden assumed office on January 20.

Horas al-Din was one of the major factions in northeastern Syria, and is one of the main opponents to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de facto ruler of Greater Idlib. Last year, HTS carried out a series of security operations against Horas al-Din.

The US strike on Horas al-Din leaders is an important support to HTS – after all, Washington has been attempting to rebrand HTS as a “reformed terrorist” group that could potentially be an ally.

In 2020, a series of drone strikes on Greater Idlib claimed the lives of several senior leaders of Horas al-Din and other al-Qaeda factions. Failed assassination attempts also targeted sheikh Abu al-Bar’a al-Tunisi and Abu Hamzah al-Yamani. They were allegedly carried out by US Special Operations Command.

Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) continue their airstrike activity over Greater Idlib and don’t deny their involvement.

The strikes targeted positions of al-Qaeda-affiliated HTS in the outskirts of the town of Kansafra in the southern countryside of Idlib.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a militant of HTS was killed and several others were wounded as a result of the airstrikes.

Russian warplanes have been bombing Greater Idlib for over a month now in response to repeated ceasefire violations by HTS and its allies. Turkey has been an enabler for these continued breaches.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin on September 29. The situation in Greater Idlib will reportedly be the main topic of the one-day visit.

Recently, a number of reports talked of a near ground operation in Greater Idlib led by the Syrian Arab Army and backed by Russia. Such actions could trigger Ankara’s forces and the factions it backs to move, but currently nothing has taken place.

In an attempt to pursue its interests, on September 22nd, Turkish forces and their proxies carried out an attack on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They targeted the village of al-Dibs in the northern countryside of Raqqa.

The attack failed, completely, according to SDF. Bitter from the quick defeat, Ankara’s forces shelled the al-Dibs village and the M4 highway. It is interesting that the M4 highway is frequently patrolled specifically by the Turkish military, and they still shelled it.

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