On October 10, the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) announced that its fighters repelled an attack by ISIS cells on one of their positions near the town of Taftanaz in the eastern Idlib countryside after killing and injuring several terrorists.
Syrian opposition activists said that ISIS cells attacked a farm owned by the NFL in the village of Talhiyeh, southeast of Taftanaz. According to the activists, the terrorists were planning to abduct fighters of the Turkish-backed group, likely to exchange them for some of their counterparts later.
In the last two months, the NFL and the former branch of al-Qaeda, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), carried out several security operations against ISIS cells in the countryside of the governorate of Idlib. As a result, dozens of ISIS members were captured. Some of them were executed later.
The new attack by ISIS cells confirms that the security operations were not effective enough and that the influence of the terrorist group in Idlib is way bigger than it had been expected by HTS and the NFL. This situation may have a negative impact on the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement on the northern governorate.