Syria Daily: Rebels — We Expect Turkish Intervention in Idlib “To Go Smoothly”

Turkish armoured vehicles move near the Syria-Turkey border, October 8, 2017 (AFP)

Rebel commanders have said they expect Turkey’s intervention in Idlib Province in northwest Syria “to go smoothly”, without much resistance from the jihadist bloc Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a “landmark operation” last weekend, and some advance Turkish personnel have reportedly moved into the province, parts of which are controlled by HTS. There have been some clashes between the two sides, but reports are circulating of a high-level agreement for HTS to allow the movement of Turkish “observers” to positions between Idlib and the Kurdish canton of Afrin.

See Syria Daily, Oct 9: Are Turkey and Jihadist HTS Co-operating in Idlib Province?

Ankara said on Monday, “The Turkish armed forces began reconnaissance activities on October 8 to establish surveillance posts as part of the operation to be carried out in Idlib Province.”

Rebel commander Musa Khaled told Al Jazeera, “Turkey has made it clear to Tahrir al-Sham, through representatives from the armed opposition groups including Failaq al-Sham, that any factions who put up a fight would be targeted.”

He asserted that HTS “understands that they do not have the military capability” to fight the Turkish army: “This will cause them to submit to any deal that is enforced on them.”

Isham Eskeif of the Hamza Division supported the reports of a “principal, momentary understanding” between the Turkish army and HTS: “The Turks are being clear — they don’t want blood to be spilled — and they’re trying to get that across to Tahrir al-Sham.”

Turkey agreed last month with Russia and Iran on a plan to send 500 monitors each for a “de-escalation zone” in Idlib Province. The Turkish personnel — up to 1,000, some Ankara journalists now claim — will operate inside the province, with the Russian and Iranian counterparts on the borders.

The Turkish military first intervened in August 2016, supporting rebels as they took territory in northern Aleppo Province from the Islamic State.

Video: The Russia-Regime Airstrikes on Idlib

Meanwhile, Russia and the Assad regime continued their airstrikes on Idlib Province, including another attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Since resuming their assaults on September 19, Moscow and the Assad regime have killed more than 200 people, despite Russia’s proclamation of a de-escalation zone.

Britain’s Channel 4 reports on the deaths and destruction:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Well – now we know beyond doubt that SAA and ISIS are colluding against the rebels. If not throughout the rein of ISIS, then during their demise in the hands of the SDF.

    SAA just transported all the ISIS terrorists in the Hama area that it was “battling” (in reality negotiating) to the southeast of Idlib province and let them loose over there like vermins. They have taken over the area and its population and created themselves a nice enclave in Idlib with the backing and protection of SAA.

    Any more evidence needed that ISIS leadership and SAA are hand-in-glove?

    The ISIS rank and file useful idiots canon fodder who are still dreaming of confronting Christianity and taking over the world in an apocalyptic crusade, establishing world Caliphate with themselves as the barons frequenting the women’s meat markets and having been assured a blissful afterlife, must be scratching their heads. All they see is their so pious leadership are negotiating away their lands where they grew up and telling them to surrender or go and fight the rebels and Kurds.

    Somebody aught to chronicle the trials and tribulations of this tragi-comic “Islamic State”. The classic saga of useful idiots. And all those western analysts who told us that ISIS is unstoppable and we have met our match. That soldiers who wish martyrdom cannot be stopped by jets and tanks.

    This is so hilarious, except for the hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed. I wonder who the genius in Assad’s regime were to invent the idea of an Islamic State.

    • Just like when 100 ISIS terrorist showed up from the direction of SAA areas and joined ISIS in Raqqa to fight SDF. I wonder what the SAA had promised them? Keep the Americans out of Raqqa until the SAA can defeat the crusaders America and Kurds, and we will give each of you in appreciation a big lot to farm and women, and you will be the head honcho of the village.

  2. It appears that SDF has some plans to move into norther Idlib province to pre-empt Erdo’ans setting up puppets there to attack Efrin. HTS apparently is dealing with Erdo’an to hand him the order strip. More evidence that Erdo’an and HTS are pretty close.

    • The FSA should smarten up — the only chance they have to keep Idlib is to team up with SDF and come under the protection of the US NFZ. They should jettison Turkey as it has no intentions to stand up against Assad and the Russians and will abandon them like he has abandoned ISIS and Nusra. Erdo’an was humiliated when he was dragged by his ear to Moscow. He will trade all of Idlib for an assurance by the Russians that they will harass SDF and the Kurds as soon as they have taken over Idlib. Or for an assurance that SAA will not challenge the Turks in northern Aleppo. Erdo’an being an Islamic has absolutely no principles whatsoever. He will sell his closest allies at the right time.

  3. ANHA: Jabhat al-Akrad forms first military regiment of 236 fighters in Shahba Province 10/6/2017

    Jaysh al-Thuwar (The Army of Revolutionaries) will form the first woman military unit in Idlib. 10/8/2017

    According to the Facebook page of the Northern Democratic Brigade, a SDF-aligned Idlib Military Council will be formed soon 10/9/2017

    • The only salvation for Idlib is to join SDF, with their help eradicate Erdo’an ally HTS (they have lots of experience fighting Salafists), and bring Idlib under the protection of the NFZ. There is no way that Erdo’an will protect Idlib from the Russians and Assad. In fact it appears he is trying to hand it over to Assad. Whoever thinks this de-escalation nonsense is genuine or that Erdo’an will stand up to Russia, should see how he quickly capitulated and ran to Moscow to kiss an ar**.

      Same thing should happen in al-Bab. The two parts of Rojava are only 20 km apart, and al-Bab sits right in the middle.

  4. Turkish analyst:
    #Turkey traded #Aleppo for #AlBab.
    Our goal in #Idlib hand it to Russians & besiege, invade #Efrin, stop Kurds reaching sea 10/9/2017

    The agreement signed in Astana is a reminder of last year’s Russo-Turkish bargain that with Ankara’s pulling of support from the Islamist rebels led to a complete and bloody fall of Syria’s second largest city Aleppo to the Assad regime. 10/8/2017

    .مراسم عزاء لوفاة مام جلال طالباني في مقاطعة الشهباء
    A funeral ceremony for the death of Mam Jalal Talabani in Shahba province. 10/8/2017


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