The Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham Movement will redeploy hundreds of its fighters in the opposition-held part of the northwestern Hama countryside under a new agreement with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Nedaa Syria news outlet reported on January 19.
“The two sides signed an agreement that will allow the Ahrar al-Sham Movement to return to the al-Ghab Plains and rearrange its positions along the frontlines with the areas held by the Syrian regime,” the outlet’s report reads.
Earlier this month, HTS launched a surprise attack on the positions of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement in the northwestern Hama countryside. The battle ended within 24 hours and the Turkish-backed group accepted a humiliating surrender agreement that allowed HTS to impose control of the enter region.
Following the agreement, more than 2,700 fighters of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement and other groups of the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) coalition withdraw to the occupied area of Afrin.
Local observers believe that HTS is allowing these fighters to return because it fears that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies will soon launch a military operation in northwestern Hama. Earlier, commander of pro-government Tiger Forces, visited the region, which supports this possibility.