The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) targeted a group of radial militants, which was trying to loot the Zayzun power plant in the opposition-held southwestern Idlib countryside on February 6, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
“Units of the army destroyed vehicles of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) terrorists, who were looting equipment from Zayzun power plant,” the SANA’s reporter in Hama said.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated TIP occupies large parts of the southwestern and northwestern Idlib countryside. Most of the group’s fighters are foreigners who came from central and eastern Asia.
A coalition of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and several al-Qaeda-affiliated groups occupied the Zayzun power plant in July, 2015. Since then, a major part of the plant’s equipment had been looted by militants, who shipped them to Turkey.
The Zayzun power plant is located within the 20km demilitarized zone around the Idlib, which was established by Russia and Turkey last year. Radical militants, especially foreigners, are not allowed to have any presence inside the zone. However, this term is being violated on a regular basis.