Hayat Tahrir al-Sham commander: "We cannot depend on Turkish observation bases to defend Idlib against Syrian government”
Idlib - SMART
The General Commander of the opposition faction Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, stated that they cannot depend on the Turkish observation bases to defend Idlib against the Syrian government.
The Syrian government mobilized its forces in Idlib and Hama after President Bashar al-Assad threatened to launch a military attack to seize the areas outside Syrian government control in Northern and Central Syria. At the same time, Turkey has been giving assurances to the residents that the Syrian government forces will not storm the region.
Al-Jolani stated in a video, “We cannot depend on the Turkish observation bases to face the enemy (...) the political situation can change at any time."
Turkey established more than 12 observation bases in Idlib, Hama, and Aleppo to monitor the implementation of the de-escalation agreement, which was reached during the Astana Talks.
Al-Jolani added that the HTS refuses to hand over their weapons, describing it as "betraying the people." Al-Jolani emphasized that what happened in Southern Syria will not happen again in Northern Syria.
The Syrian government forces seized Daraa and al-Quneitra in Southern Syria after reaching individual reconciliation agreements with the opposition factions. Thousands of fighters and civilians left for Northern Syria as a result of the agreements.
Al-Jolani talked about establishing a joint military operation room in Idlib, and about plans to fortify and protect the area, and also to develop "creative defense and attack tactics."
Al-Jolani mentioned the security campaign launched by the HTS against the people who encourage reconciliations with the Syrian government in Idlib.
The Russian head of the reconciliation center stated that the HTS arrested 500 people, naming them as the "supporters of political dialogue" with the Syrian government in Idlib.