Around noon Tuesday, a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery barrage struck the Driving School in the eastern part of Khan Shaykhun town in Idlib province.
Now, it transpires that local informants had notified SAA commanders of an upcoming Jabhat al-Nusra meeting at the driving school days before it happened.
Given very precise coordinates of their target, SAA artillery units at Suran and Ma’an (14 kilometers away) were able to kill an estimated 22-25 al-Nusra Front members.
Three of their names were released by the jihadist group this evening; Ahmad Naddaf, Khaled al-Bakri and Ibrahim Al-Barazi.
Khan Shaykhun – home to approximately 50.000 residents – was controlled by government troops until the summer of 2014 when the al-Nusra Front launched a major offensive in southern Idlib and eventually seized the town.
Formerly, Khan Shaykhun was considered one of few pro-government towns in the predominately Sunni Idlib governorate; this explains why government spies and informants are still present in the town.
It is unknown if the jihadist group will retaliate and crackdown on civilians in the town in response to the shelling.