The Idlib jihadi build-up continues


"Opposition sources announced the formation of a new force of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northern Aleppo named. The group was named “First Corps” and created with a Turkish support.

The militant groups known as the Sultan Mohammed Al-Fateh Brigade, the Samarkand Brigade, Jaish al-Ahfad, the Al-Muntaser Bellah Brigade, the 101st Division, the Al-Fatah Brigade, the Tala’a al-Nasr Brigade joined the First Corps. The group now includes 10,000 fighters, according to Capt. Abu Kanan al-Homsi. Its militants had received training and equipment from Turkey.

According to opposition sources, the main objective of the First Corps would be to fight ISIS, Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), and Kurdish militias (YPG, YPJ, PKK). The group will be stationed in the towns of Al-Rai, Akhtarin and Ghandoura in the northern Aleppo countryside.

In Idlib, the HTS issued a ban on the transfer of anti-tank missiles, Grad rockets and modern weapons and started an effort aimed to confiscate them from all local groups. HTS already arrested some members of Ana’ al-Sham and confiscated their weapons in the northern Hama countryside.

According to local sources, tensions have once again increased in the countryside of Idlib between Ahrar al-Sham and HTS. A new round of clashes in the province of Idlib may start soon."  southfront


"On Friday, Iba’a – the media wing of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) – published a series of images showing Al-Qaeda fighters undergoing training by Chechen commanders in Idlib, considered jihadist heartland.

Using experience gathered in the 1990s against the Russian Army, the Chechen warlords trained the mostly Syrian HTS insurgents in assault operations."  AMN


The Idlib cyst continues to solidify and fester.   It will grow in menace until the mass is lanced.   Turkey continues to support and supply the AQ jihadis in the province.  Anyone who thinks that the FSA First Corps will not fight the Syrian Government in Idlib is mistaken,  pl

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17 Responses to The Idlib jihadi build-up continues

  1. b says:

    That Turkish supported force is NOT in Idlib. It is north east of Aleppo in Aleppo governate. It has Kurdish forces to confront in the east and west and Syrian government forces to the south. Turkey used that force to go south from the border and to interrupt the Kurdish corridor from east to west under the pretense of fighting ISIS. It is also said to be way smaller than those 10,000 claimed by the opposition captain. It may be only half of that.
    The name “Sultan Mohammed Al-Fateh” is, I believe, a variant of “Fatih Sultan Mehmed” or Mehmed II the conqueror – the Ottoman Sultan who took Constantinople. Is that correct? Syrian nationalists within the rebels (there seem to be a some who very much dislike the Turks) will not like that designation.
    Idleb is a different story than that Turkish proxy force. It is poised for a new fight between Ahrar and Nusra. Takbeer!

  2. Heros says:

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
    ― Napoléon Bonaparte
    In this case it applies to Erdogan, and Putin would play Napoleon. Those several brigades cannot even present a united front in their own naming:
    “Al-Fateh Brigade, the Samarkand Brigade, Jaish al-Ahfad, the Al-Muntaser Bellah Brigade, the 101st Division, the Al-Fatah Brigade, the Tala’a al-Nasr Brigade”
    These groups are likely little more loyal to Erdogan than to Assad, and what comes around goes around as they used to say.

  3. turcopolier says:

    Yes. I know where the “First Corps” is, but as we have seen it is an easy motor march back across the border, around to Hatay and back into Idlb. Also, the Turks are supporting the creation of other AQ forces now in Idlib. pl

  4. Peter AU says:

    There is also this piece for whatever it is worth. If a Turkish move into Idlib can get the factions there fighting among themselves for awhile …
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the preachers of the mosques in the countryside of Idlib addressed their Khutbah today to talk about the Turkish move to enter Idlib by a similar operation to what happened in the northern and northeastern countryside of Aleppo, which was called “Euphrates Shield”, during of which the Turkish Forces and the rebel and Islamic factions supported by them controlled large areas extending from Jarabulus city to al-Bab city to al-Rai town.
    The reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the preachers of mosques in several areas in the countryside Idlib described the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “profane”, and that what he is doing along with his military forces is a “settlement project” in Syria and “revival for Ottoman caliphate” and that the Syrians have to face this project, while the worshipers in these mosques divided between neutral, opposition and supporter of this Turkish intervention, while the fear prevails the people and residents of Idlib from local clashes between the factions, du to this Turkish intervention.

  5. Fred says:

    That green blob in Idlib Province looks like an awful big cancer that will do nothing but spread if it isn’t cleared out.

  6. kooshy says:

    Yes that’s Muhammad the second or Mohammed sani, the conqueror, for the muslims he is considered to be hero for braking and defeating the eastern romans.

  7. kooshy says:

    BTW Fateh means conqueror

  8. kooshy says:

    soon they may need to form one after sultan Rajab Tayb al-Maghlob

  9. Tel says:

    The stark reality is that R+6 do not have the resources to subjugate Idlib.
    They might have the resources to contain it, at best.

  10. turcopolier says:

    If I were in command of the SAA and you told me that you would be out of a job. You are either a defeatist or on the other side. pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    If you want to discuss command and staff relationships I would be happy to do so. pl

  12. Bill Herschel says:

    I think the magic word is Chechnya. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday Russia will take care of this problem. I can’t believe they’re unaware of it. And, what is more, the entire history of WWII as taught to American school children is horribly flawed, one of the insights I have gained reading this blog. Is it not unlikely that Japan surrendered on account of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Civilian casualties? So what, says the Emperor. But, on the other hand, his army had just been destroyed by Russia in Manchuria. He chose to be a prisoner of the U.S. And, what is more, I believe I read in an article referenced here that the Russian campaign in Manchuria was brilliantly conceived and executed. Just as their air war in Korea was conceived and executed. And going further still, who controls the skies in Syria? The U.S.? It doesn’t seem that way, although they manage to land a sucker punch now and then.
    So we are left with a situation where Russia is the dominant military force in the ME. I trust them to take care of the problem. I believe Putin actually said, “I can be in Kiev tomorrow if I want to.”

  13. Tel says:

    The Tao of military operations lies in harmonizing people. When people are in harmony, they will fight naturally, without being exhorted to do so. If the officers and soldiers are suspicious of each other, warriors will not join up; if loyal advice is not heard, small minds will talk and criticize in secret. When hypocrisy sprouts, even if you have the wisdom of ancient warrior kings you could not defeat a peasant, let alone a crowd of them. This is why tradition says, “A military operation is like a fire; if it is not stopped, it will burn itself out.”
    I put it to you that Assad is now at the point where approximately half of his available recruits have fled, and he is down to conscripting teenagers.
    The US economy is 6 times larger than Russia (or 4 times larger on a per capita basis).
    Whatever job you are offering I’m sure I don’t need it… but if I wanted to get into the brutal business of doing the numbers, judging the value of people vs territory I think I would probably look for a strong Christian leader who measures three times before each and every cut. Winning without fighting is the best outcome.

  14. LeaNder says:

    Winning without fighting is the best outcome.
    that’s an interesting remark.
    But strictly I would like to know if Tao, or the quote, belongs into the writings Sun Tzu or Zhuge Liang? I am asking since I am not familiar with both, never mind at least Sun Tzu is on many people’s minds.
    What would be your reading recommendations? And were would I find your quote?

  15. Tel says:

    I’m not much of a historian, nor a translator, so I largely depend on finding something that someone else has done which happens to make sense to me.
    Definitely the Cleary translation of Sun Tzu is a good read (IMHO), but there’s a preface with a warning that we don’t know who “Sun Tzu” really was or whether half the stuff attributed to him ever came from any particular individual in the first place. I also recommend Machiavelli which exists in several English translations.
    As an empiricist, history annoys me because there’s no way to go back and test your theory. I have no answer to that.

  16. turcopolier says:

    Actually, there is a way to test history. It is called literature. Chew on that for a while. This is the method that mankind has used to test the deeper human truths in the mere historical record. BTW I have a low opinion of Sun Tzu – Chop Suey Clausewitz. pl

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