Once pledging allegiance to al Qaeda, the HTS’s Mohammed al Jolani is rolling up his sleeves to fight his past and convince the world that he’s the man who can save Syria’s Idlib.
Regime forces briefly captured Kafr Naboudah, but rebels have since taken back the town. Residents, however, are holding back from returning amid continued air strikes by Assad forces.
The Assad regime has stepped up deadly attacks in Idlib and Hama. There could be a catastrophe if the bombing intensifies as the regime attempts to take the last remaining rebel stronghold.
Russia’s defence ministry claims that Ankara and Moscow coordinated attacks on Idlib, but Turkish Armed Forces tell TRT World that the claims do not reflect reality.
The high-profile meeting between Turkey, Russia and Iran will be dominated by issues ranging from the recent HTS gains to the emergence of conflicting safe zones in northern Syria.
A senior figure from HTS explained how the group is trying to earn trust in Idlib on pragmatic lines and also address the lack of strong defence to survive the airstrikes launched by the Syrian regime.
While foreign aid organisations cut funding to the health and development sector in most of Idlib province, regime forces have intensified airstrikes, threatening the lives of civilians.
Two weeks after capturing one of Syria's significant rebel strongholds, former Al Qaeda affiliate HTS is trying to strike a moderate tone, but the people who fought and defeated them previously refuse to trust them.
Days of fighting between the Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) alliance and Turkey-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) ended after the parties reached a ceasefire agreement in Idlib.
As many as 75 fighters and six civilians have been killed in the fighting between two rebel groups that erupted on Tuesday and continues to expand to more towns and villages, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The regime continues to pound opposition and rebel-held areas in Syria, and Idlib is expected to be the site of the next big assault. However, unlike the previous battles, Turkish troops' presence in Idlib may complicate matters.
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