Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and factions backed by Turkey have formed a joint operations room in the northern governorate of Idlib, Nedaa Syria and several other opposition sources reported on May 10.
The new operation room is reportedly headed by HTS, which controls over 90% of Idlib territory. Many groups from the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) coalition have joined the room, despite the presence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, such as Horas al-Din.
Naji Mustafa, a spokesman for the NFL, told Nedaa Syria that the joint room will command all offensive and defensive operations in Idlib and its surroundings.
“The military room aims to repel the Russian attack on the northern areas of Hama by the factions in general, in addition to avoiding previous mistakes,” the pro-opposition outlet quoted Mustafa as saying.
Few hours after the formation of the operations room, HTS and its allies launched an attack on the positions recently captured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Hama. The NFL is actively supporting the attack. However, it is unclear if the attack is commander by the new operations room.
In the last few years, Idlib factions formed several joint operations rooms. However, they failed each time, mostly due to HTS’ attempts to impose its will on all other groups.