The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that “Hayat Tahrir Al Sham” the Sham Liberation Organization (Syrian Branch of al Qaeda) on Wednesday held an agreement that allowed it to control more territory under the control of armed opposition factions in the Syrian province of Idlib and its vicinity, which made it, control 75% of these areas beyond the control of the regime.
These areas are located in north-west Syria, which includes the province of Idlib as well as parts of the provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia, and is under the control of armed opposition factions and other jihadists.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP: “”Hayat Tahrir Al Sham” The Sham Liberation Organization controlled the areas of Al Ghab plain and Mount Shashbo, which extends from the southern countryside of Idlib province to the northern countryside of Hama province after concluding an agreement with groups affiliated with Ahrar Al Sham”.
Abdul Rahman said that the mountainous area adjacent to the agricultural plain includes dozens of villages and towns.
Under this agreement, “Hayat Tahrir Al Sham”, controls 75% of the approximately 9,000 square kilometers, the area of these areas beyond the control of the Syrian Government.
He also pointed out that other jihadist factions control 5% of this area, to remain about 20% in the hands of the National Liberation Front, which includes a group of armed factions backed by Turkey.
The “Hayat Tahrir Al Sham” Sham Liberation Organization announced on its Telegram account the agreement “provided for the dissolution of the movement of the Ahrar al Sham itself in Al Ghab in the west of Hama and Mount Shashbo south of Idlib, and to follow the region to the Syrian government of rescue administratively and service”.
This rescue government is a local administration set up by “Hayat Tahrir Al Sham” Sham Liberation Organization.
The Jihadists have launched an offensive against the opposition factions in the past few days, killing more than 130 people and allowing the organization to control some 50 towns and villages, especially in the western province of Aleppo.
Moscow and Ankara reached an agreement on September 17 to establish a “demilitarized zone” in Idlib province and its environs.
This agreement was only partially implemented, as the jihadists refuse to withdraw from the area of separation between the factions and the Syrian government forces.