Hostilities in Idlib have resumed, and it is unclear when exactly their end would come. On August 20, the Syrian Arab Army, with support from Russia, liberated the largest urban center in southern Idlib – Khan Shaykhun. Soon, multiple mainstream media will unite their voice blaiming and shaming the ‘bloody Assad regime’ and ‘covard Russia’ for opressing ‘moderate opposition’ in the region.
Let’s take a look at these ‘moderates’ withdrawing from Khan Shaykhun and its countryise.
As an example, a “local activist” – Ahmed Husseinat, cited by Al Jazeera, said the fighters who withdrew were from Jaysh al-Izza and Turkish-backed al-Jabha al-Wataniya lil-Tahrir (the National Liberation Front, NLF) – a loose coalition of armed groups considered part of the moderate opposition.
Both of these “moderate opposition” groups are allied to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is without a doubt the biggest militant presence in Idlib currently and a terrorist group. HTS was formerly the local branch of al-Qaeda, but have, of course, “changed their ways” and are now ‘moderate’. The group said that there was no withdrawal, but rather a redeployment.
MSM claims that other “moderate groups” are also present in Idlib, they operate and carry out quite a few “humanitarian operations.”
One such “moderate group” is the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), which “educates children.” Mostly in jihadism.
The TIP is an Islamic extremist organization founded by Uyghur jihadists in western China, considered broadly as a terrorist group. The group is allied to al-Qaeda.
Camps training children for Jihad are being run by the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria. Uyghur child soldiers being instructed in Sharia and training with guns were depicted in numerous videos released by TIP.
The group advertised children jihadist training camps in Pakistan as early as 2013.
While the TIP has been active in Syria, the organization’s core leadership is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan and operates in those countries as well as in China. The TIP has also advertised camps for children in the Afghan-Pakistan region.
It has received relative Turkish support, and has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey since August 3rd, 2017.
The group gets very little mention in media, but has recently “upgraded” its media output, with a new official website and a Telegram channel.
In late June, the group published some photographs showing that it was preparing a large force for the upcoming battles in Idlib. The images were taken from the group’s Telegram channel, since the website appears to be frequently taken down (for unknown reasons, why would anybody ever target the website of a group that trains children jihadists?).
TIP primarily fights “Bashar al-Assad’s regime” and its allies, in Hama and Latakia.
In May, the TIP threatened Russia in another video that trumpeted the organization’s role in the global jihad. Some of its members wear red bandanas, signifying that they are part of the TIP’s elite special forces. Such well-trained guerrilla fighters belong to more than one group in northern Syria.
The group has operated the above-mentioned camps for children jihadists from as early as 2015 in Syria.
The first reports of the group’s training camp in Idlib came in July 2015.
In early 2016, TIP-affiliated Twitter accounts (which are now banned) published photos showing children attending a military training camp somewhere in northwestern Syria.
In September 2016, the group released a video which showed small clips and photos from the Eid al Adha celebrations, combat footage from recent battles, and some of its killed fighters. Around halfway through the video, children are shown posing with AK-47 assault rifles, pistols, and attending Sharia classes. Many of the children are boys, but some girls are also seen with weapons in the video.
This was a small look in some of the “moderate rebel groups” that are operating in Idlib and that the “Assad regime” is oppressing, together with the “evil Russians.”
Following are photographs from the 2016 video:
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