BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 P.M.) – A number of Russian warplanes were spotted on Tuesday conducting low-altitude flights over several parts of northwestern Syria.
According to a field source, the Russian warplanes conducted flights over the M-4 Highway (Aleppo-Latakia Highway), northwestern Idlib, northern Aleppo, and northern Al-Raqqa.
The Russian military’s movements were mostly patrols, but some of the aircraft were said to have also monitored the movements of the jihadist rebels in the Jisr Al-Shughour countryside of western Idlib.
Similar to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Russian military has taken a keen interest in the movements of the jihadist rebels, as they have refused to withdraw from the M-4 Highway and its surroundings.
The withdrawal of all armed groups from the areas south of the M-4 Highway was established in Moscow on March 5th.
Since then, the militant forces have refused to leave the area, despite the Russian military’s repeated calls for these groups to withdraw immediately.
Should the militants refuse to leave in the coming weeks, there is a good a chance the Syrian Army and Russian military will resume their field operations inside Idlib.