Military Source: Syrian Army Planning for Imminent Operation in Hama, Idlib

The Syrian Army forces are preparing to launch a large-scale imminent operation in Hama and Idlib provinces as terrorist groups continue attacking the government troops from their positions in the demilitarized zone in violation of the Sochi Agreement, a senior military source said on Tuesday.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted a source as saying that the army’s intelligence units have been monitoring reinvigoration of terrorists’ positions in the demilitarized zone since conclusion of the Sochi Agreement.

In the meantime, the terrorists have been launching mortar and artillery attacks on army positions in Eastern Idlib and Northern and Northwestern Hama, adding that the Turkistani Islamic Party’s terrorists have recently targeted the army in al-Ghaab Plain by the US-made TOW missiles, the report added.

The source said if the terrorists continue attacks and Turkey fails to comply with its commitments to urge the terrorists to withdraw from the demilitarized zone, the Syrian government forces will launch a large-scale operation in Hama and Idlib provinces.

It said that the army has collected intel on the locations of the terrorists’ arms depots and command posts to target them in the first phase of any possible operation in Hama and Idlib.

On Monday, a senior Syrian military and strategic analyst said that continued attacks by Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) against the army positions in Northern Syria accelerate collapse of terrorist groups in Idlib.

Colonel Mar’ei Hamdan was quoted by the Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency as saying 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 on 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 on 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.

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