Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, former al-Nusra Front) leaders issued a statement regarding the creation of new military groups to deploy them on the front lines with the Syrian government forces in northwest Syria. This comes in tandem with their announcement of preparation to launch a military operation against the government forces.
The HTS controls most of Idleb and parts of the Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia countrysides after expelling other armed opposition factions three years ago.
For months, Syria’s northwest has witnessed a military escalation and mutual shelling between the HTS and the government forces even though these areas are subject to the de-escalation zone agreement signed between Russia and Turkey in March 2020.
In March 2020, Russia and Turkey reached an agreement in Moscow that stipulated a ceasefire, the establishment of a safe corridor, and the conduct of joint patrols on the M4/Aleppo-Lattakia Highway.
Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, also known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), and Turkish forces escalated their shelling of the military posts of the government forces in the countryside of Hama, Aleppo, Lattakia, and Idleb.
The escalation came after Russian warplanes targeted residents’ houses on the outskirts of the villages of al-Jadida, north of the city of Jisr al-Shughur, which caused the killing of seven civilians, including children.
On Saturday, media outlets quoted a leader in HTS, saying that the group is ready to receive people to form Inghimasis Brigade.
Abu Bakr al-Homsi, a leader of the HTS, said that this move “will include all military formations,” adding that the new formation launched at the beginning of this year is named Khalid Ibn al-Walid Brigade.
“The brigade will be deployed on most defence and attack posts in the front lines,” he told the al-Modon website.
Early in July, an SNA source uncovered its preparation to launch a military operation against the government forces in Idleb and Aleppo countryside.
A military source of the SNA told North Press that al-Fateh al-Mubin Operations Room, which consists of several armed factions on top of which the HTS, Army of Glory, and the National Front for Liberation, is preparing its militants to launch a new military operation against the government forces.
The operation is expected to start from the western countryside of Aleppo, from Miznaz town in the south to Sheikh Aqil Mountain in the north. The militants of Iranian-backed militias are deploying in this area. According to the source, the operation will also include areas south and east of Idleb.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.