After a brief lull in bombardments following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, intense shelling against military and civilian targets resumed across opposition held-territory in northwest Syria in April. The frequency and intensity of these strikes grew steadily throughout the month, though civilian casualty numbers remained relatively low due to the mass depopulation of areas around Jabal a-Zawiya following previous waves of shelling by the regime. Russian warplanes also increased strikes against an array of military targets centered around Fleifel and al-Fatirah, two villages that witnessed at least six raids in a single day in early April. Despite this recent uptick in violence however, there is no indication of an upcoming offensive by pro-regime forces. Overall, the war in Ukraine has further strained the already complicated relationship between Turkey and Russia, with Ankara recently banning the passage of all Russian military and civilian aircraft through its territory—although it remains to be seen how a more strained Russian-Turkish relationship may play out in the opposition-held northwest in coming months.
Attached Map: Military Situation in North-West Syria – 28th April 2022