Jaysh al-Ahrar, a part of the National Front for Liberation (NFL) coalition, has a accepted an agreement that will expand the influence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the opposition-held part of northern Lattakia.
Citing pro-HTS sources, the Enab Baladi news outlet said the agreement forces Jaysh al-Ahrar to recognize the authority of HTS’ Salvation Government. Furthermore, the Turkish-backed group will hand over its positions along the Syrian-Turkish border to HTS.
The new agreement is a part of HTS’ efforts to dominate the opposition territory in northwestern Syria. In early January, the terrorist group attacked the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement in the western Aleppo countryside. HTS won and imposed control of all former positions of Turkish-backed militants.
After this easy victory, HTS launched an attack on the remaining positions of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement in the northwestern Hama countryside. The Turkish-backed faction surrendered within hours and agreed to withdraw.
HTS’ plans didn’t stop there, the group prepared to launch a new attack on Turkish-backed militants in the southern Idlib countryside. However, the militants opted to surrender without any battle and recognized the authority of HTS over their territory.
Now most of the opposition-held part of northwestern Syria is under the complete control of HTS, a radical group which was once the main branch of al-Qaeda in Syria. This new situation doesn’t only violates the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement, but also threatens peace and stability in the entire region.
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