Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Syrian State Media: Turkey Helped Rebel Counterattack in Idlib

A Syrian girl appears from the rubble holding her shoe following an air strike on Hamouria in the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus on Jan. 9 2018 France anxious by Syrian army offensive in Idlib, wants Astana deal respected
Faye Gross | 14 January, 2018, 00:37

France said on Wednesday it was "extremely concerned" by a Syrian government offensive in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib and demanded that commitments made at an worldwide deal in Astana to reduce hostilities be respected. Assad has defeated rebels in many parts of western Syria with critical help from Russian Federation and Iran.

Director of the Extremism and Counterterrorism Programme at the Middle East Institute, Charles Lister tweeted yesterday that major factions including Ahrar Al-Shaam, Nour Al-Din Al-Zinki and the Free Idlib Army were recipients of the weapons, but not the largest opposition conglomerate and former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayaat Tahrir Al-Shaam.

The activists said the warplane belonged to the Syrian army.

Syrian state media, citing a foreign ministry source, said on Thursday that regime forces were fighting to "liberate from the terrorism of the Nusra Front and the other terrorist organisations that belong to it".

Turkey has been backing a substantial rebel force in Aleppo Province, just east of Idlib, and it wouldn't be surprising to hear of their involvement.

Man cuts Muslim girl's hijab in Toronto
He was wearing black prescription glasses, a black hooded sweater, black trousers and brown gloves, police said. He pulled the hood off the girl's jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.


"With Allah's blessings we drew plans and prepared ourselves and are encircling them", said Abu al Naji, a commander from Tahrir al Sham.

In their counter-offensive Thursday, the rebels captured the towns of Khwein, Atshan Abu Omar, and Um Khalakhel from the Syrian army.

The area is part of a de-escalation zone agreement in the Kazakh capital Astana past year between Turkey, which supports rebel groups, and Assad allies Iran and Russian Federation.

The Turkish government said the Idlib offensive was endangering the effort to reach a resolution of the conflict and accused the Syrian government of using the pretext of fighting militants to wage a widescale attack.

The government offensive has displaced tens of thousands of people who fled toward areas close to the Turkish border.

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