Khalil Moussa Moussa
There are many scenarios surrounding Syria’s Idlib Province. The events taking place in Syria’s north are getting more complicated as the fighting there is claiming the lives of hundreds of recruits among the Takfiri groups.
The complication of the situation in Idlib takes two tracks; the first is represented by the countries operating the Takfiri groups, and the other track is related to their unknown fate until the moment.
As the Takfiri environment that engulfed Syria from every spot of the world has declined, the armed groups gathered, after several settlements, in that geographic spot that is currently besieged from three of its sides by the Syrian Army and from its fourth side by Turkey and its allies.
The Status of Takfiri Groups in Idlib and the Dispute among Them…
To speak about Idlib, it was necessary to discuss the issue with expert and researcher in military and strategic affairs Dr. Aladdeine al-Asfari, who is aware of the situation there, where the number of Takfiri groups has exceeded a 110, atop of which is the Nusra Front, Nourddine Zenki, and Ahrar al-Sham groups.
It is worth mentioning here, that all those groups have different affiliations that vary between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
According to al-Asfari, Turkey attempted several days ago to override al-Nusra in a bid to put on terror list. The move was followed by establishing an umbrella group named the “National Liberation Front” which includes, until the moment, between 40 to 50% of the total of fighting Takfiri groups that Turkey has been attempting to unite.
Despite the Takfiri feature of all factions based in Idlib, each of them has a different ideology, the Syrian expert says, pointing out that the infighting between those groups has reached a climax recently.
Since last year, 1500 Takfiri militants have been killed, with record of killings among senior commanders increasing, in a clear indication that Turkey could not succeed in merging all Takfiri groups under this umbrella, al-Asfari states.
The disputes igniting fighting between the Idlib-based factions were classified by the Syrian researcher. He believes that these groups differ in their way of thinking and sources of financing.
In this regard, he notes that the different sources of finance offered to these groups lead to difference in affiliation.
“From this point, we can mention the instructions militants receive from their financers that they have to be strong. Therefore, the “(financial) carrot and stick” play a major role in moving these factions to attack any point in a bid to expand their existence at the expense of other factions,” al-Asfari tells Al-Manar.
In addition to differences in ideology and finance, what raises the tensions between these groups the so-called spoils they steal from people and towns of Idlib, according to al-Asfari who notes here to what he called regional racism.
“The regional racism also plays its role (in the militants’ infighting), where it has been known that as a result of the settlements and the Takfiris’ departure from almost all Syrian cities towards Idlib, this made militants who are originally from the province deal with a kind of superiority to choose the spot where they want to be stationed in, in comparison with the other factions coming from outside Idlib.”
The Remaining Scenarios for Idlib-Based Takfiri Groups…
Mr. al-Asfari stresses that negotiations between the Syrian government and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units are underway, in a bid to deploy the Syrian Army in those regions.
In this context, he points out that one of the scenarios provides “exporting all 15,000 terrorist foreigners from to their countries to be tried there, and this will take place through cooperation and coordination with the United Nations.”
As for terrorists of Syrian nationality, al-Asfari expects that those who rejected negotiations in the past and preferred to move to Idlib are very unlikely to give up their weapons now unlessby force or with a major settlement.
Hereby, the strategist stresses that “no matter how Turkey and the state-sponsored terrorism attempted to detour from the issue in Astana and other negotiating conferences, the fate of Idlib won’t be other than liberation on the hands of the Syrian government and the deployment of the Syrian Army on every spot of the Syrian territory.”
The Turkish Dream Beginning to Finally Collapse…
At a depth of 20 kilometers along the Syrian-Turkish borders is the buffer zone Turkey has been dreaming of, the Syrian researcher says, stressing that this dream “is getting smaller and smaller indeed, with the Syrian Army’s liberation of Aleppo and the Kurdish Units’ deployment in other regions.”
Hence, the role of the “Turkish Wali for Idlib and Aleppo”, based in Aleppo countryside along Idlib, is starting to lose its value, especially after failing to impose dealing with the Turkish Lira in Aleppo, al-Asfari goes on to say.
This Wali is appointed by Ankara to govern Aleppo and Idlib at the same time, according to Mr. al-Asfari, who clearly hints to the Turkish “madness and schizophrenic thinking,” referring to Turkey’s control of Syria’s Afrin, where Ankara has been trying to neutralize the terrorists it has based there instead of the Kurdish majority, “in a bid to represent a thorn in Syria’s north.”
At this point, Mr. al-Asfari discusses the Syrian fortifications in Hama countryside to reach Idlib, saying that those are two fronts with Syrian reinforcements through the Lattakia countryside, “driving the Turkish scheme to imminent failure.”
Additionally, the researcher notes that there are Turkish-Russian negotiations to reach a final solution for Idlib after opening a passageway for the more than 5000 civilians who were safely evacuated from Idlib to the regions that returned to the Syrian control through the town of Abu al-Duhur under Russian guarantees.
Source: Al-Manar Website