Terrorists Strengthen Strongholds in Demilitarized Zone One Month after Sochi Agreement
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Thursday that the terrorist groups have not yet shown any sign of withdrawal from the demilitarized zone from Northeastern Lattakia, Hama and Idlib to Northwestern Aleppo.
It added that the militants have in the past few days sent new weapons and military equipment to the regions under their control in the weapons-free zone.
According to the report, Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) has recently reinvigorated its strongholds in Eastern Saraqib in Eastern Idlib and regions near the army-held areas.
In addition to strengthening their positions in the demilitarized zone, the terrorists launch continued offensives against the army in Northern Syria.
Analysts believe that continued attacks by Tahrir al-Sham against the army positions in Northern Syria encourage the army to stage its long-waited assault on terrorists in Idlib.
Colonel Mar’ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency as saying on Monday that Tahrir al-Sham is in control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army’s commitment to decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
He added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of Idlib.
Hamdan said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and underlined that the Syrian army’s battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.
Meantime, the Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham and National Liberation Front (NLF) terrorist groups has also dismissed the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement and is preparing for military operations against the army in Northern Syria, calling for a coalition with Tahrir al-Sham.
Tahrir al-Sham and other allied terrorist groups have not left the demilitarized zone two months after the Sochi agreement and have instead reinvigorated their strongholds and targeted the army positions every day.
Relevant reports said last Sunday that the Turkey-backed NLF had put its gunmen on alert to launch a heavy offensive against the Syrian army in the demilitarized zone in Idlib province.
The Arabic-language al-Watan reported that the Turkey-backed NLF had kept its fighters in and outside the demilitarized zone, envisioned in the Sochi Agreement, on alert for imminent war against the army.
The decision by the NLF came after Ahrar al-Sham called on other terrorist groups to get ready for war against the army in Idlib province.
The daily went on to say that Naji al-Musfata, the spokesman for the NLF, has declared his forces’ full preparedness for an imminent attack on the army.
Al-Watan quoted sources, affiliated to Ahrar al-Sham, as disclosing that the Turkey-backed militants were approaching other terrorist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at and Horas al-Deen to form a coalition against the army.
The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted residents of the town of Jisr al-Shughour in the demilitarized zone in Western Idlib as disclosing last Saturday that Tahrir al-Sham and Turkistani Islamic Party staged a parade with their tanks, cannons and heavy machineguns in a sign of impending operation against the Damascus troops.
It went on to say that over 500 terrorists took part in the military parade that covered Jisr al-Shughour and several villages and small towns in the region.
The report said that Jaber Ali Basha, a commander of Ahrar al-Sham affiliated to the National Liberation Front, called on the other terrorist groups to prepare and join a heavy attack on the army in Idlib province.