On August 15, Abu al-Fath al-Farghaly, a senior commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), warned Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, that the radical group will “cut the feet” of any soldier who attacks the northern governorate of Idlib.
“The Mujahedeen are in their strongest physical and moral status and their will won’t decline for a moment until the liberation of Damascus and beyond,” al-Farghaly said in an open letter to Lavrov, according to the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a.
A day earlier, Lavrov said during a joint news conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has the right to defend itself against attacks in Idlib. The Russian foreign minister also noted that the de-escalation agreement in northern Syria don’t include terrorist groups.
Lavrov’s statement clearly triggered HTS’ leadership, who believed that the de-escalation agreement and Turkey will protect their remaining strongholds in northern Syria.
Many Syrian activists mocked al-Farghaly warning because HTS was badly defeated and its so called “Mujahedeen” run away in all the recent battles with the SAA. This warning is likely meant to calm down HTS-supporters in northern Syria who are panicking over the upcoming attack of the SAA.