Several militant groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), are planning a multi-prolonged offensive against the Syrian Army in the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone, according to Russia’s Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties.
“According to available information, the leaders of Hayyat Tahrir Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat Tahrir Suriya (formed as merger of Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and Ahrar al-Sham), Suqour al-Sham and Falak al-Sham agreed to set up joint operational headquarters to conduct an attack on positions of government forces,” the general said. Large groups have concentrated simultaneously on several directions – mountains of northern Latakia, al-Ghab valley on the border of Hama and Idlib provinces and areas west of Aleppo,” chief of the Center Major General Alexei Tsygankov said.
Earlier reprots appeared that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham decalred the area on the administrative border between Hama and Idlib provinces a military zone and declared that it has prepared for a battle against the Syrian Army in the province of Idlib and nearby areas.
The statement by the Russian military clearly indicates that as soon as pro-government forces liberate southern Syria they will focus on combating terrorists in the province of Idlib.