The Heras al-Deen organization, which defected from Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham, announced that it has rejected the Russian-Turkish deal to set up a demilitarized zone in Idleb province.
On Saturday, the organization said in an official statement, of which Alsouria Net obtained a copy, that “We in Heras al-Deen announced our rejection of these conspiracies and all these measures … We remember what happened in Bosnia with the disarmament agreement … We advise our brothers to return to God and repent.”
The organization called for “ranks to be ordered and military work to begin to disrupt their plans,” in a reference to the Russian-Turkish deal, and “not to waste territory or weapons.”
The group is the first to reject the Turkish-Russian deal, which was concluded on Monday, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at a press conference in Sochi a deal to establish a demilitarized zone in Idleb.
Heras al-Deen is comprised of groups which defected from Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham on Feb. 27, 2018, most prominently Jaish al-Mulaham, Jaish al-Badiya, Jaish al-Sahel, and a number of brigades, most of which include non-Syrian commanders.
The group is deployed in the Lattakia countryside and the northern Hama countryside, as well as parts of the Idleb countryside.
Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham, the most prominent group in northern Syria, has not announced its official position on the deal, however according to what Alsouria Net has observed, commanders and sharia judges in the group have made it clear that they reject handing over weapons and withdrawing from areas under the group’s control.
The sharia judge Abou al-Yiqzan al-Masry (Egyptian nationality) on his official Telegram channel announced that he rejected the deal, especially with regards to the issue of handing over weapons. “Those who do not continue to fight until the regime falls and hands over their weapons, is a hypocrite.” He added that: “Whoever asks you to hand over your weapons is the first turn their back on the revolution, and whoever makes problems in order to eliminate the mujahid factions because of the Sochi agreement is a traitor.”
The Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham sharia judge Abou al-Fatah al-Ferghali also stressed the danger of withdrawing in the interest of establishing the neutral zone, saying: “To hand over the front lines, bunkers and fortified sites which the mujahideen set up with their hands is nothing less than a crime and betrayal.”
A commander in the group, Muzhar al-Wiss, said in a message on his Telegram channel: “The deal is nothing more than a temporary measure for the regime and Russia to continue their preparations to attack Idleb.”
Earlier today, the National Front for Liberation announced their full cooperation with Turkey to “spare civilians from the horrors of war” and they welcome the Turkish-Russian deal around Idleb.
The Jaish al-Azza, which operates in the northern Hama countryside, was the first to welcome the deal around Idleb.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.