Syrian War Report – September 24, 2018: Rift Grows Among Militant Groups In Idlib

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A rift among Idlib militant groups is growing over the demilitarization zone agreement reached by Turkey and Russia earlier this month.

On September 22, the National Front for Liberation (NFL) released on official statement declaring its support to the agreement. The group stated that the agreement had prevented an “unjust war” and described Turkey as its ally. The NFL added that it does not trust Russia, the Syrian government and Iran accusing them of multiple violations of ceasefire agreements.

The NFL is currently the biggest coalition of Turkish-backed militant groups in northern Syria. It was established on May 28, 2018 from 11 various groups in an attempt to consolidate Turkish influence in the province of Idlib. Thus, the group pretends to be a provider of Turkish policy in the area.

The NLF is the second notable militant group, which supported the agreement. On September 20, Jaysh al-Izza made a similar move.

Another part of Idlib militants is not hurrying up to accept an idea of the 15-20km demilitarized zone, which is set to be established between the militant-held and government-held parts of Idlib by October 15. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Horas al-Din said in an official statement that it officially rejects the agreement describing it as a “conspiracy”.

Horas al-Din, which was established on February 27, 2018 from 7 al-Qaeda affiliated groups, is one of the most influential factions in Idlib, alongside with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).

While multiple media activists and outlets linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have criticized the demilitarization zone deal, the group is yet to release an official statement on this issue – most likely because negotiations between the group and Turkish special services are still ongoing behind the scenes.

On September 22, the Turkish military deployed a commando brigade in Idlib province in order to reinforce its observation posts. During the past few weeks, the Turkish military deployed additional battle tanks and armoured vehicles there with a similar purpose.

These moves may indicate that Ankara is really going to make an attempt to force Idlib militants to obey the demilitarization zone deal.

On September 20, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency reported that the Turkish military had deployed hundreds of armored vehicles, battle tanks and trucks on the border with the northern Syrian town of Tell Abyad, which is now controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Syrian sources expect that Ankara are going to force Kurdish units of the US-backed group to withdraw from the town in a Manbij-like move.

Meanwhile, the SDF has continued its operation against ISIS in the Hajin pocket in the Euphrates Valley. The SDF, backed by US-led coalition air power and artillery are advancing on Susah and Shajlah.

On September 23, the Russian Defense Ministry held an additional press briefing revealing details of the IL-20 shootdown off Syrian coast, which took place on September 17. Defense ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov once again confirmed that Moscow sees Israel as the side responsible for the tragedy. The reasons are actions of Israeli F-16 warplanes hiding behind the IL-20 from Syrian air defense fire, the misinformation on the strikes provided by Israel and multiple violations of the Russia-Israel deconfliction agreement by Israel.

Konashenkov emphasized that “the hostile actions committed by the Israeli Air Force against the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft cross the line of civilized relations.”

At the same time, Israel continues blaiming Syria, Iran and Hezbollah for the September 17 incident as well as rejecting data provided by the Russian military.

This situation shows that a visit of top Israeli military delegation to Moscow last week has not allowed the Israeli leadership to de-escalation the tensions erupted with Russia. If the situation remains same, it will likely impact an expected diplomatic solution of the Syrian crisis in a negative way for Israel.

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  • Gregory Casey

    How good to hear those rats are not happy with each other. It’s most sincerely to be hoped that they eat each other alive.

  • Dr. Ronald Cutburth

    What? Israel breaks the 10 commandments and lies and murders people? Their punishment needs to be harsh. God says

    • Barba_Papa

      Might makes right. Israel has might therefore it can do whatever the fuck it wants.

      • jorge

        Might makes right when we have the might (read Tucidides).

        • Dennis SR

          Oh my GOD lmao….All you anti-Israeli’s extremist-like views are SOOOO predictable. “OH MY! DID YOU HEAR ABOUT EVERYONE DYING OVER THE LAST HALF CENTURY! I bet it’s ISRAEL AND AMERICA, those big, dumb, evil satan loving imperialists!” -What YOU all sound like.
          LOL…a broken record. It’s soooo old. As if the IDF and our massive, advanced and supremely better trained warfighters in the U.S military have NOTHING better to do IN ALL THE COUNTRIES WE OPERATE IN?? or jihadist Salafi loons to kill? If we are doing covert, conspiratorial ops against Russia, Turkey, or ANY people, most Americans hear about it pretty fast. Even the CIA, ex-Mossad, etc who post articles here are CONSTANTLY leaking news of these events…I mean, come on.

          • Dennis SR

            ———OHHHH I forgot. Try doing something with your lives. I worked in a priv sec firm that went into high threat environments and we’d see the REALITIES of the world, as opposed to what news sites like Al Jazeera, SouthFront, RT, FOX News say…We don’t believe our own news media, so most people like me (or at least semi educated folks who refuse to believe whatever they hear no matter the source or their own bias) we go and SEE FOR OURSELVES. You should all try it. Volunteer and help somewhere not safe, instead of letting the wisest and most generous take the risks and die, leaving anti-Western “Zionist deep state”-hating morons like people here to be the future lol (that includes our idiots in the U.S, I’m not being racial or making generalizations about Islam by that).

          • jorge

            I’m an 1/8 hebreo and I’ll go there, if you come one too, notice it.

  • telemetrie

    Turkey has the same problem with their “moderate rebels” in Idlib as USA has with their own child “Al Qaeda” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    It just happens that terrorist turn against their masters when they are forced to stop fighting and feel betrayed. Erdogan will be punished for his sins.

    • Brother Ma

      Yes and no. Just the Turk alphabet groups changing names to fool “Average Joes “in FUKUS.

  • Joe Dickson

    Who would have thought Turkey would lose control of it’s terrorists? Well… they are terrorists after all.

  • Joe Dickson

    Who would ever have thought Turkey would lose control of it’s terrorists? Well… they are terrorists after all.

  • GrandRus

    The contributor of the circassian conquest, the murderer of the ottomans in 1788, the one who defeated Polish rebelion in 1794, the capturer of Warsaw, the destroyer of the Swedish army in 1808, the man
    who died from Napoleon and his French troops, watching a burned Moscow in the hands of Napoleon, one of the greatest generals of the almighty Russian history, Pyotr Bagration, died this day, in 1812. Long live the memory of the great Russian generals who helped make Russia a big and
    glorious nation!!https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/George_Dawe_-_Portrait_of_General_Pyotr_Bagration_%281765-1812%29_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg/800px-George_Dawe_-_Portrait_of_General_Pyotr_Bagration_%281765-1812%29_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

    • jorge

      There’s a lot of others before, by the way, who defeated the mongols?

      • Sencer

        Mamluks.

    • Sencer

      Georgian ?

      • GrandRus

        ??

      • Brother Ma

        Originally of Georgian Greek Armenian ancestry like most other Bagrations. So too were the Danishmends originally.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Curse the zionist scumbags.

  • jorge

    Better that the actual turkish rulers put on their mind that they don’t will have an inch of syrian land. If not, bye bye Enver Pashas.