Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) accepted the new ceasefire agreement in Greater Idlib on August 2 and vowed to respond to any “violation” by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.
In an official statement, the al-Qaeda’s former branch in Syria said that it is not abandoning its main goals by accepting this new ceasefire, stressing that the “overthrow of the regime” will remain its priority.
“-The goals of overthrowing the criminal regime, liberating prisoners and securing the return of refugees and displaced people to their villages and cities is at the core of the objectives of our revolution, which we are working for and sacrificing for it, as we work and do what we can to protect our people and land by all legitimate political and military means within the teachings of our true religion.
-Any shelling or attack on the liberated cities and towns of the north will lead to the cancellation of the ceasefire on our part, and we will have the right to respond to it,” the group’s statement reads.
A day earlier, the Damascus government announced that it will respect a new ceasefire in Greater Idlib if HTS and its allies implement the terms of the Sochi agreement. Under the agreement, all terrorist elements and heavy weapons should withdraw from the 15-20km demilitarized zone around Idlib.
Few hours after the announcement, militants in Greater Idlib launched several rockets at Lattakia’s countryside killing a civilian and injuring three others.
HTS didn’t mention nor the Sochi agreement, nor the demilitarized zone in its statement. This suggests that the terrorist group and its allies are not willing to respect the agreement. Most likely, they are aiming to take advantage of it, once again.