Jaysh al-Thuwar Commander: HTS is allowed to advance

Jaysh al-Thuwar Deputy Commander General Ahmet Sultan said: “Hayat Tahrir al Sham will take the whole of Idlib under their control. HTS is allowed to advance, because Turkey and Russia have plans over Idlib.”

In the process that sparked when Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, listed internationally among terrorist groups, attacked the Nour al-Din Al-Zenki group, part of the “National Liberation Front” gang coalition under Turkish state influence, over 75% of Idlib has come under HTS control today.

ANF met Deputy Commander General for Jaysh al-Thuwar, made up mostly of fighters from Idlib, Ahmet Sultan (Nom de Guerre: Ebu Arac) in Deir ez-Zor where he is for the Operation Cizire Storm and we talked about Idlib.

Ahmet Sultan said the Russians and Turks have a plan for the escalation of the crisis in and around Idlib: “Turkey will pull the forces they call moderate opposition to Afrin, Azaz and Jarablus. According to information we have received, they are planning an operation on Manbij and the east of the Euphrates together with these groups.”


Sultan said the clashes that started 10 days ago and the advance of the HTS will continue in Idlib and added that HTS will take over all of Idlib. Sultan added that after Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Siqur Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and other groups fled, surrendered or were defeated, most of Idlib has come under the control of the HTS.

Sultan said:

“Hayat Tahrir al Sham has taken over the areas under Nour al-Din al-Zenki control. The HTS has taken over Al-Atarib for the first time since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011. Before they didn’t have even a single position in Atarib. Jabal Shehshibo took the Sehil el-Xab region from Ahrar al-Sham. the Maarat Numan is under siege, even though the people don’t want HTS. This will continue, I think HTS will take over all of Idlib. HTS is allowed to advance, because Turkey and Russia have plans over Idlib. For the regime and Russia to be able to carry out an operation against Idlib, where there are many civilians living, the Hayat Tahrir al Sham has to take over the areas controlled by the National Liberation Front, the ‘moderate opposition’ backed by Turkey.”


Sultan pointed out that Turkey was the one that put the Hayat Tahrir al Sham, included in international terrorist groups lists, in Idlib: “The Turkish state has 12 observation points in the rural areas of Idlib and Aleppo. 8 of these were defended by Hayat Tahrir al Sham, and the others were controlled by the forces called the National Liberation Front. All these observation points were set up under Hayat Tahrir al Sham’s control. One must say that it was the Hayat tahrir al Sham who allowed the Turkish state to enter Idlib and set up observation points. The Turkish state forces crossed into Idlib to protect the regime.”


When asked whether the HTS advance will be limited to Idlib, Sultan said he doesn’t think Hayat Tahrir al Sham could attack Afrin, Shehba or any other region: “But there is a plan. Russians and Turks have a plan to increase the crisis in and around Idlib. Turkey will pull all the ‘opposition’ forces there to Afrin, Azaz and Jarablus. According to information we have obtained, there will be an operation against Manbij and the east of the Euphrates with these groups. Today, groups like Sultan Murad, Hamza Brigades, Sultan Suleyman Shax and others under direct control of the Turkish state have supposedly clashed with Hayat Tahrir al Sham along the Afrin border. This is just for show. Turkey is trying to prove they are not behind these incidents.”


Sultan pointed to the phone call between Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on January 9 and said: “There can be surprises in the field in the coming hours and days.”

Sultan said nobody knows the true content of the agreement between Russia and Turkey as the matter is kept secret:

“Not even the Syrian people or the commanders of these groups Turkey supports and calls ‘the opposition’ know the true content of these agreements, because what is announced to the public and what happens in the field are two different things. People can figure out their true content after the agreements have been put in practice and a long time has passed.

But I think in the coming days the Turkish state will take the 12 observation points claimed to help Idlib’s no-conflict state and distribute them throughout the Afrin and Idlib border.”


Sultan said the Operation Cizire Storm against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor continues rapidly and ISIS has a very partial area left. Jaysh al-Thuwar Deputy Commander General Ahmet Sultan concluded with:

“Turkey, having made all kinds of negotiations and secret deals with international powers over the Syrian people and Syrian territory today, forced the Syrian revolution astray in the past. They had groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra disband all Syrian groups who truly wanted freedom and democracy.

Today they say they will enter Syria to end ISIS. As the Syrian Democratic Forces, we have ended ISIS together, all of us, we are almost done. We do not accept any of Turkey’s dirty plans over Idlib or Northern or Eastern Syria. The Turkish state will cause the people of Idlib more pain than ever before with this plan.”