Militant groups in southern Syria, including the Southern Front, Ahrar Nawa, Al-Maghawir and Ahrar al-Golan, have merged into a new militant formation entitled “The Army of Salvation”.
Experts link this development with ongoing negotiations on a reconciliation agreement between militants and the Syrian government.
The Syrian-Russian delegation has reportedly provided the militants’ leadership with the following three options:
- To surrender heavy weaponry and to withdraw to militant-held areas in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo;
- To accept a full reconciliation agreement, to surrender weaponry and to normalize their legal status;
- To face a military operation.
It appears that militants are openly preparing for a military confrontation. This attitude is likely linked to the increased US-Israeli activity over the issue. The US-Israeli-led block is clearly aiming to prevent the Syrian military operation and to rescue a militant-held buffer zone in southern Syria.