A military source said that more than 60 fighters from the National Liberation Front (NLF) were killed or wounded as a result of a Russian air raid on the al-Duwaila area in the western countryside of Idleb on Monday.
He added that two Russian planes took off from the Hemeimeem Military Air Base and entered Idleb’s airspace.
The source added that Russian warplanes dropped high-explosive aerial bombs on the al-Duwaila area, which killed more than 30 fighters and wounded more than 30 others who belong to the NLF.
The Idleb region is subject to an agreement between Moscow and Ankara that provides for a complete cessation of hostilities between the two parties to the conflict in the fourth de-escalation zone in northern Syria, which Russia has not adhered to, and instead used its warplanes to launch numerous raids, which caused the death and injury of tens of civilians and resulted in the displacement of thousands.
Damascus and Moscow
Russia and the regime accused each other of being responsible for the massacre, in the media.
Moscow disavowed the raids through Russian news agency Sputnik. A news article reported that the regime’s warplanes neutralized 75 armed men from the most prominent organizations that exports mercenaries to Libya and Azerbaijan.
In turn, pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan said that Russian warplanes launched raids targeting Failaq al-Sham, while they were at their training camp in Jabal al-Duwaila, near Haram, killing 43 people.
Iran-backed Al-Mayadeen channel confirmed that the raids on the camp of the Failaq al-Sham were carried out by Russian warplanes.
The Front’s Response
Capt. Naji Mustafa, the National Liberation Front’s official military spokesperson, considered Russia’s targeting of a military area belonging to the NLF as a clear and continuous breach by Russia of the peace agreement signed under the auspices of Turkey, and that the NLF has begun to respond.
Mustafa said, in statements relayed by people close to the NLF, that the air raids targeted an NLF training camp, resulting in martyrs and wounded trainees.
He explained that a border area with Turkey was attacked and that the attack is a clear Russian message and a continuous provocation, adding that Russia does not differentiate between civilian and military in its violations, and that a few days ago, it targeted a commercial civilian area in the northern countryside of Aleppo with surface-to-surface missiles originating from the Hemeimeem Military Air Base.
Mustafa said that the NLF factions began responding to this crime by targeting the sites of the Russian forces and militias in several locations using mortars and missiles, stressing that the response will not be limited to this targeting, but will continue, will escalate, and will be harsh.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.