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4 Russian service members were reportedly killed in militants’ attack in western Aleppo

4 Russian service members were reportedly killed in an attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allies in western Aleppo on February 1, according to sources loyal to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and reports in Russian social media.

A unit of the Syrian Army, supported by Russian military advisers, reportedly came under a rocket and mortar attack during the recent Hayat Tahrir al-Sham advance. 3 Russians were allegedly killed on the spot, while the 4th one died from suffered wounds.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham attack was repelled and militants continued losing ground in the countryside of Aleppo. Nonetheless, if the death of Russians is confirmed, Idlib militants will likely try to exploit this development to draw attention of their supporters from the recent failures in the battle for southeastern Idlib and southwestern Aleppo.