The National Front for Liberation (NFL) announced a total mobilization against the “aggression” of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and vowed to repel the radical group’s attack on the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement.
“The NFL announces the total mobilization of all of its factions in the liberated areas in order to repel these attacks, deter the aggressor and restore all the occupied areas,” the NFL said in an official statement released on January 2.
The Turkish-backed coalition, which includes the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, called on the local and foreign fighters of HTS to defect or stay away from this battle.
HTS, which was the main branch of al-Qaeda’s in Syria, launched a large-scale attack on the positions of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement in the western Aleppo countryside two days ago after accusing it of assassinating four of its fighters. The radical group managed to capture several areas from al-Zenki, including the strategic town of Darat Izza, without facing any real resistance.
Prior to the NFL statement, an commander of HTS told the Iba’a news network that the group’s attack is against the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement only and called on the remaining factions of the NFL to not get involved.
“We call on the factions fighters to not respond to those who want to throw them in a battle … to defend the al-Zenki Movement, whose crimes are well known,” Iba’a quoted the unnamed commander as saying.
HTS’s attempt to keep the NFL away from the battle has apparently failed. However, local observers believe that Turkey will step in and facilitate a ceasefire once the NFL restore all the positions HTS captured from the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement.
- Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Continues Advance On Turkish Proxies In Western Aleppo. More Than 100 Killed In Clashes (Map)