The sources said that while a number of senior members of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at are in Turkey to negotiate about an imminent meddling of the Turkish army in Idlib, the terrorist group has increased the number of its checkpoints in Idlib province.
The sources added that Tahrir al-Sham feels much worried about an operation of the Turkish army in support of Ahrar al-Sham rival group and has, hence, called on Ahrar al-Sham to pull out its forces from Western Idlib in 48 hours.
A local source in the town of Kafr Takharim said that Tahrir al-Sham has established a large number of checkpoints along the road connecting Idlib to the town of Salqin, erected walls and other forms of entanglement and deployed military vehicles behind them to enhance its defense capabilities.
Tahrir al-Sham has, meantime, planted a large number of land mines near the entanglements.
The source further added that Tahrir al-Sham has not allowed any group to carry missiles and has arrested a number of militants on charges of assisting Ahrar al-Sham.
The source went on to say that Mazhar al-Weis, one of the religious leaders of Tahrir al-Sham along with a number of the group’s commanders have gone to Turkey to talk with Ankara officials about the Turkish army’s imminent military intervention in Syria’s Idlib.
Tahrir al-Sham had first set a condition to hold the talks on the Syrian territories, but changed its decision in the last moment.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Friday that the terrorist groups of ISIL and Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) and the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were following the same path in Syria.
“In fact, we cannot separate all these groups. ISIL and Al-Nusra have the same Wahhabi ideology and the same terrorist doctrine. ISIL, Al-Nusra and Erdogan that is affiliated with the Muslims Brotherhood, al Saud, and al Thani in Qatar, uphold the same doctrine,” the Syrian President told ONT news agency.
“All these groups have something in common which is the extremist Wahhabi ideology. And all of them are instruments in the hands of the United States,” Assad added.
“I’m not saying that they are instruments in the hands of the West, because Western Europe doesn’t practically exist on the political map. Europe implements what America wants, without any objection. All of these groups operate under the American leadership. So, whether we say that they are foreign powers, ISIL and Al-Nusra, or others, the director and financier is the same. They are all one group but with different names and different tactics,” Assad concluded.