About 9,000 al-Qaeda linked militants (members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) are attempting to take control over the Syrian province of Idlib, Colonel General Igor Korobov, chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Directorate, announced on Friday.
“The total number of Nusra Front militants [an old brand of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] in northwestern Idlib stands at 9,000 people. Currently, terrorists are trying to take control over the whole of its territory by intensifying combat actions against the moderate opposition groups,” Korobov said at the Army-2017 forum, according to the Russian state-run media.
Korobov emphasized that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is the second most powerful terrorist group in Syria. It includes more than 15,000 members, most of whom are Syrians.
Earler this week, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham assisted ISIS in its attack against government forces in the eastern Hama countryside. ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham united efforts in an attempt to cut off the the Salamiyah-Ithriyah-Khanassir-Aleppo road, the only government supply line to Aleppo city. However, terrorists failed to achieve their goal.