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Syrian War Report – Jan. 8, 2019: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Expands Further In Idlib De-Escalation Zone

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Units of the Russian Military Police have started patrolling the surroundings of the northern Syrian city of Manbij in the Aleppo governorate, near the border with Turkey, spokesman Yusup Mamatov told media on January 8.

“Today we started patrolling the security zone near the city of Manbij and its surroundings. The task is to ensure safety within the zone of responsibility, to control the positions and movement of armed groups,” he stressed adding that the route of military police patrols will change regularly.

The spokesman added that during their missions Russian servicemen are receiving information from locals about weapons caches and unexploded ordnances left after the area’s occupation by militants.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) continued its expansion within the Idlib de-escalation zone. After a successful capture of the opposition-held areas in western Aleppo, the terrorist group has kicked off an advance in southern Idlib.

On January 8, Hayat Tahir al-Sham (HTS) attacked positions of its competitors near the town of Maaret-Naaman. According to some reports, HTS intends to capture the entire Idlib de-escalation zone area and to disband groups, which resist to obey. Meanwhile, the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) slammed HTS for attacking NFL-linked factions and vowed to attack the group. Nonetheless, so far NLF declarations have resulted in no progress in preventing the HTS expansion.

ISIS has been in fact defeated in Syria and the Turkish government is ready to put forward its strategy of restoring peace in the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an article published by the New York Times. Erdogan stressed that Turkish military operations in the country played an important role in preventing terrorist attacks in Turkey and Europe. However, he expressed his concern that “some outside powers may use the organization’s remnants as an excuse to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs.”

Erdogan also described decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw troops from Syria as a right one, but slammed the US-led coalition for indiscriminate bombing causing civilian casualties during its operations. The President said that Turkey has “a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the root causes of radicalization”.

“The first step is to create a stabilization force featuring fighters from all parts of Syrian society. Only a diverse body can serve all Syrian citizens and bring law and order to various parts of the country,” Erdogan said. “In this sense, I would like to point out that we have no argument with the Syrian Kurds.”

However, according to him, many young Syrians had no other choice but to join the People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish militia whom Turkey considers to be “the Syrian branch of the P.K.K. [Kurdistan Workers’ Party].”

“Following the United States withdrawal from Syria, we will complete an intensive vetting process to reunite child soldiers with their families and include all fighters with no links to terrorist organizations in the new stabilization force,” he said adding that “ensuring adequate political representation for all communities” is Turkey’s another priority.

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  • You can call me Al
  • Feudalism Victory

    The ottoman empire isnt going to rebuild itself now.

  • Ergogan. Sickening. Have a heart attack dude, along with all Turks who think that you are leadership material.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Who is letting al-shame driving around in 100 Toyotas expanding in Idlib zone?
    Who is letting Israel bombing Damascus the 201 time lately?
    Who increased the pension age 5years just like that after demand from IMF/BIS/ECB?
    Who is letting the S-300 in Syria remain silent?

    • FlorianGeyer

      Who has been the airpower that has enabled all the SAA loyal allies to liberate much of Syria and prevent the certainty of US ISIS and Al Nusra proxy terrorists overrunning Damascus.

      RUSSIA.

      Be patient Tommy. All the skittles are more easily knocked down when in a row and one by one the SAA and allies are putting them in their place. Despite the FUKUS hooligans who are running around in ever decreasing circles and wildly throwing balls everywhere.

      • Icarus Tanović

        Ah, didn’t you know that “Tomy Jensen’s” name is something like Regev Negev, and that he is oligophrenic Zionistic Jewish pig!

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    Erdogan will be out of Southern Idlib by the end of Russian Orthodox Christmas, it’s his Christmas present to Putin.
    Just like Isis at Hajin the HTS fighters have suddenly become superhuman, they’ve suddenly developed superpowers far beyond the rest of us and doing things that are normally IMPOSSIBLE, just like the 1,500 Isis fighters at Hajin did for 8 months.
    I think it’s just like the old Asterix cartoons, where they have some sort of magic potion or something, and when they really need it they just gulp some down and suddenly become invincible.
    I’ll say it again for the hundredths time, Erdogan’s pulling his forces out of Southern Idib, and he’s doing it so that the Russians and SAA can come straight in and smash them to pieces and just take over, he’ll end up with his forces in the north, and HTS will cease to exist, at least in Syria.
    ISN’T ANYONE ELSE SEEING IT YET, NO ONE ELSE REALIZED THE KURDS WERE ON STRIKE SINCE JANUARY EITHER.
    HTS will end up being spread all over Idlib like tiny bit of butter on a very big piece of toast, does anyone think this is just by chance, if you do you’re not looking properly, just the same way no one looked at what happened to the Kurds properly.

  • FB

    I think this is good rhetoric from Erdogan…he is not an ideal partner, but he has one BIG plus…he recognizes Russia’s final authority in Syria…I think it is the west that is still the biggest problem…they still do not accept the reality that they have lost the Syria war…If we see the Americans actually leave like Trump wants, then I think all the piece will fall into place without any big problems…the HTS and other Idlib moderate terrorists have to be dealt with…I believe Erdogan realizes this and is going to work toward that end…unlike the west he i neither stupid nor delusional…