Government, opposition mutual shelling in NW Syria causes casualties

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – On Tuesday, the de-escalation zone in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo in northwest Syria witnessed a resumption of mutual shelling and sniping between Syrian government forces and Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, leading to casualties from both sides.

Military opposition sources told North Press that the government forces targeted with artillery shells the positions of the opposition in the towns and villages of Teqad, Kafr Taal, al-Wasata, al-Qasir, and the outskirts of Kafr Nuran in the west of Aleppo, and the villages of Fatterah, Sfuhen, and the town of Kansafra in Zawiya Mountain in the south of Idlib.

In March 2020, Russia, that supports the government forces, and Turkey, that supports the armed opposition, reached an agreement in Moscow that stipulated a ceasefire in northwest Syria, the establishment of a safe corridor, and the conduct of joint patrols on the M4/Aleppo-Latakia Highway. 

The sources added that the shelling resulted in the killing of two members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front) and the injury of another in the western countryside of Aleppo.

The HTS targeted with heavy artillery and mortars the positions of the government forces in Base 46, Basratun, the oil factory in the west of Aleppo, al-Malaja, and Kafr Battikh in the east of Idlib. They sniped three government soldiers in Base 46 and Afis, according to the sources.

Although the de-escalation zone in northwest Syria is subject to a Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement signed in March 2020, the area witnesses frequent mutual bombardment between Syrian government forces and opposition factions accompanied by Russian warplanes’ flight despite the entry of the ceasefire into force.

Reporting by Mo’ayed Sheikh