Creating new perspectives since 2009

Official: Turkey-backed Syrian opposition forces to send fighters to Idlib area

August 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Civil defence members and locals conduct search and rescue works at a debris of a building after Assad Regime’s warplanes carried out airstrikes over the de-escalation zone of Saraqib district in Idlib, Syria on 22 June, 2019 [Hasan Muhtar/Anadolu Agency]

A Syrian opposition force supported by Turkey will send fighters to reinforce positions facing a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive in the Idlib region in the northwest of the country, an official in the rebel force told Reuters on Thursday.

The National Army, an opposition group that is based north of Aleppo city near the Turkish border and is backed by Ankara, took the decision at a meeting with the rebel National Liberation Front (NLF), a separate rebel alliance that operates in the Idlib area, said Mohamed Abu Sharfo, spokesman for the National Army’s First Legion.

READ: Syria opposition confirms ‘Iranian forces alongside regime in Idlib’

The decision was taken to “start sending forces from the National Army to rural Hama and Idlib”, Abu Sharfo said. “The level of readiness has been raised and fighters are being called up from all the brigades of the National Army,” he said.

The NLF and National Army also decided to establish a joint operations room. Northwestern Syria represents the last major foothold of the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

The most powerful rebel group in the Idlib region is widely seen to be the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham faction.