HTS objects to setting up Turkish military post, western Idlib
Idlib - SMART
On Thursday, sources reported to SMART that a commander of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) objected to setting up a Turkish military post in the town of Bidama, 42 kilometers west of Idlib, Northern Syria.
The HTS is an Islamist opposition faction previously known as the al-Nusra Front, consisting of fighting groups, including the Haqq Brigade, Jabhar Ansar al-Din, and Jaysh al-Sunnah.
The sources added that the commander is the Coast Sector Emir and is called Khattab al-Albani from the Deir al-Zor governorate, Northern Syria. The sources said that on Monday, al-Albani along with three fighters entered the post and informed Turkish officials that he rejects the setting up of the post without coordinating with him because he controls the area.
The sources added that Turkish military personnel informed al-Albani that they coordinated with the Sham Legion of the Free Syrian Army and the administration of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing to set up the post. The sources noted that al-Albani rejected the whole thing because he does not recognize those factions.
The sources noted that a meeting could take place today between the Turkish military personnel and al-Albani in the post in Bidama to know his demands.
On March 23, 2020, the Turkish Army established three new military posts in Bidama and the villages of al-Zu’ayniya and al-Najiya, western Idlib.
On March 5, 2020, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced a ceasefire agreement in Idlib. The agreement entered into force on March 6, 2020 at 00:01.
the Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, are launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib and the southern and western countryside of Aleppo. The Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.
This attack is considered a continuation of the military operation launched by the Syrian government forces and Russia on Idlib on Apr. 25, 2019. During the military operation, the Syrian government forces gained total control of the northern countryside of Hama and the area of Khan Sheikhun. Military analysts and journalists said that by this military operation, the Syrian government aims to gain control of the Aleppo-Damascus international highway that connects Turkey to Jordan and the Arab Gulf States in order to reopen it later under Russian and Turkish sponsorship agreed upon by the two countries and gaining control of the Aleppo-Latakia Intentional Highway (M4).