The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has repelled two new attacks on its positions around the northwestern region of Greater Idlib.
The Syrian Arab News Agency reported on April 7 that the SAA killed and wounded several militants who attempted to raid one of its positions in the northern Lattakia countryside. According to the state-run news agency, the body of one of the militants who were killed while taking part in the failed raid was captured by army troops. The slain militant was a foreign national known as Abu Qutadah.
The attack in the northern Lattakia countryside was reportedly carried out by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of Greater Idlib.
On the same day, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, a division of the Russian Ministry of Defense, announced that the SAA had repelled an attack by al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) on its positions near the town of Kafr Batikh in the southern countryside of Idlib.
The TIP is a close ally of HTS. According to the reconciliation center, three militants of the Uyghur-led group were killed during the attack.
Heavy clashes broke out in the southern Idlib countryside and the western countryside of Aleppo late on April 8, with some Syrian pro-government news sources reporting a third failed attack against the SAA by HTS and its allies. However, these claims have not been confirmed, yet.
HTS and its allies launched dozens of attacks in the last few months in a blatant violation of the ceasefire in Greater Idlib, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey more than two years ago.
The recent wave of attacks against the SAA was clearly meant to sabotage the Russian-sponsored normalization process between Ankara and Damascus. Militants in Greater Idlib fear that the success of the process will lead to a Turkish military withdrawal from the region, which could mean their end.