On October 13, Abu Malik al-Tali, a senior commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), called for supporting the “besieged” refugees in the al-Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border by carrying out new attacks on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) around the governorate of Idlib.
“These words are directed to every faction leader or fighter on a frontline, you must support your brothers by shelling the positions [of the SAA] … Do not say that we do not deal with reactions, the concept of support in our religion is based on reacting according to ability,” al-Tali said in a post on his official Telegram channel.
Al-Tali didn’t only call for violating the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement on Idlib, but also criticized the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the demilitarized zone around the northern governorate.
Sources close to the US-led coalition claim that the al-Rukban camp is besieged by the SAA. However, the camp is is a part of the the 55km de-escalation zone around the coalition base in al-Tanaf. The camp is also located right on the border with Jordan, which allows tons of military equipment to enter al-Tanaf on a regular basis.
According to Syria opposition sources, al-Tali, who was the top commander of HTS in the region of Qalamun, is a part of the “radical wing” within the group that rejects the deconfliction agreement. Despite his calls for war, al-Tali was defeated by the SAA and Hezbollah twice and run away from Qalamun in 2017.