Activists and “jihadist” accounts on Telegram published an image of rebel groups in Idleb at a single council, discussing developments on the field, especially in the town of Kafr Nabudah in the northern Hama countryside, where rebel groups on Saturday-Sunday carried out an attack with the aim of taking it back from Assad’s forces and Russia.
The commanders at the meeting were the leader of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Abou Mohamed al-Jolani; the head of Saquor al-Sham, Abou Eissa al-Sheikh; the head of Ahrar al-Sham, Jaber Ali Basha; as well as the former commander of Ahrar, Hassan Soufan and a number of field commanders.
The meeting came as rebel groups carried out a counterattack to recover the town of Kafr Nabudah, which Assad’s forces seized on Sunday after the opposition factions had taken control in a counterattack the previous week.
The National Front for Liberation said that they had launched an attack after preparatory artillery and grad rocket fire, without saying the results of the military operation, which was ongoing as of Monday morning.
Tahrir al-Sham said over the Abaa news agency that a vehicle filled with regime mines had exploded on the Kafr Nabudah front in northern Hama.
The meeting between the commanders is considered to be the first of its kind in northern Syria. Over the last few years, relations between them have been subject to constant divisions that have not been resolved—especially between Tahrir al-Sham and Saquor al-Sham, as well as Ahrar al-Sham, which recently withdrew from its positions to the benefit of Tahrir al-Sham in Idleb and the Hama countryside.
The fighting in Kafr Nabudah since the start of May has become a turning point in battle between rebel groups and regime forces, which entered the town at the start of the Russia-backed military operations.
During the latest military action by the rebel groups, Kafr Nabudah was one of the fronts Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham took with the Jaysh al-Azzeh.
The National Front for Liberation has operated along the Tel Hawah front to the west of the town, and has helped repel tanks that have tried to advance into the area.
The outcome of the meeting among the commanders had not been made clear by Monday morning, amid reports of joint coordination to repel Russia-backed regime attacks that are covered from the air by helicopter and warplanes.
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.