Syria: Al-Nusra Front Unites over 70 Gangs with More Than 25,000 Terrorists
“Currently, more than 70 gangs, including those from the ranks of the opposition, which used to consider themselves ‘moderates,’ have banded together. The total strength of the Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at exceeds 25,000 militants,” Col. Gen. Igor Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (the foreign military intelligence agency), said during a roundtable on Friday as part of the Army-2017 international military-technical forum, held in the Moscow Region.
The key role in the formation belongs to Al-Nusra, which is “engaged in active hostilities against the Syrian government forces and moderate opposition in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib and Hama,” he added.
Korobov said on Friday that around 9,000 terrorists of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) are attempting to take control of the Syrian province of Idlib.
“The total number of Al-Nusra Front militants in Northwestern Idlib stands at 9,000 people. Currently, terrorists are trying to take control over the entire territory by intensifying combat actions against other opposition groups,” Korobov said at the Army-2017 forum.
Korobov noted that currently Al-Nusra is the second most powerful terrorist group in Syria. It includes more than 15,000 militants, most of whom are Syrians.
It was earlier reported that Nusra Front forces were actively regrouping in Northern Syria, trying to take over control of main border crossings with Turkey.
Syria has been mired in civil war since March 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups operating in the country, including Daesh (ISIL). Since September 30, Russia has been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria at Assad’s request.