The Hezbollah media wing in Syria published a video showing the main headquarters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Wadi al-Khail in Jorud Arsal. According to the military media, the headquarters was dug inside a mountain with a space of 400 square metre and it was the main home of HTS leader in Jorud Aarsal, Abu Malik al-Tali.
During the tour, it appears that the headquarters included Mortar workshop and a large quantity of raw materials and explosive materials. The headquarters also included an equipped kitchen, several bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as internal fortifications to protect HTS commanders in the event of any attack on the headquarters. The headquarters also included ventilation holes and electric installations based on several generators, batteries and LED lights.
One of the most shocking things is that the HQ included a large cell. According to the video, Lebanese soldiers captured by HTS in 2014 in Arsal town were placed in this cell inside the HQ. There were also five solitary cells with armored doors and a torture room.
The headquarters also included a hall dedicated to prayer and religious lectures. According to the Military Media, HTS used the hall for military training as well. Inside the hall, Hezbollah fighters found several extremist Islamic books. The Military Media pointed out that the HQ had several entrances, all hidden, along with guard posts outside.
Since the beginning of its founding, HTS has relied on subterranean installations and tunnels, especially in the eastern and eastern Ghouta. One of the most striking examples of this is the complex structure of tunnels in the Jobar district east of the capital Damascus, where the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is facing great difficulty in advancing in the eastern Ghouta because of it.
ISIS had also dug dozens of tunnels in Mosul and Raqqa as well, and has successfully used the tunnels dozens of times to attack the Iraqi Army in Mosul City. ISIS also relies on a set of points hidden inside the mountains or underground in the desert region between Iraq and Syria, where ISIS fighters usually hide at these points, ISIS also hides ammunition and weapons inside them.
It’s believed that the Palestinian HAMAS Movement has transferred this tactic to Al-Nusra Front in Syria at the end of 2011 to be used in its battles against SAA, especially in the attack of Damascus 2012. However, SAA and Iraqi Army have devised new tactics to reduce the risk of tunnels and have even dug their own tunnels to attack terrorist positions.