Sat 22 Sep 2018

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From Three Areas, the Syrian Regime Moves “Legalization” Factions to Idlib Governorate

Troops in Southern Damascus preparing to move to Idlib – August 27, 2018 (Activist Mattar Ismail)

Troops in Southern Damascus preparing to move to Idlib – August 27, 2018 (Activist Mattar Ismail)

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Assad’s forces continue to bring in military reinforcement to Idlib’s surrounding, to start a battle against the opposition factions in the upcoming days, most of which are focused in the western countryside of Idlib and Hama, which is expected to witness the principal confrontations of the anticipated battle.

At the head of the troops making these reinforcements are the factions which signed “legalization of Status” or “reconciliation” deals in different Syrian parts that have been lately controlled by Assad’s forces. The deals provided for a number of terms, the most prominent of which is the possibility of the dissidents and military service escapees’ participation alongside Assad’s forces, under a Russian supervision.

The Syrian Islamic Council has prohibited fighting in Syria under the Russian umbrella, pointing out to the “legalization” factions that are functioning under the “Fifth Regiment.”

Yesterday, the Council has issued a Fatwa prohibiting the participation of Daraa or other areas’ personal in the battles against the opposition factions in Idlib, saying: “that who does this is pledging loyalty to the enemies of Allah and the enemies of revolution. In this loyalty, there is a violation of his religion.”

 

So far, the Syrian regime has not officially announced the mobilization of the “legalization” factions to Idlib’s surrounding, despite the arrival of hundreds of troops in the past a few days.

 

Below, Enab Baladi shows the areas from which the troops have been brought in:

 

The  “Fifth Regiment” from Daraa

The “legalization” factions in the two governorates of Daraa and Qunitera are divided between the forces of the “4th Division,” under Assad’s forces, and the “Fifth Regiment,” supported directly by Russia.

On August 26, Enab Baladi managed to get information that the “Fifth Regiment” is preparing to move groups that have lately joined it in Southern Syria to northern Idlib.

 

Enab Baladi’s reporter in Daraa, quoting former opposition troops, who are now functioning under the “Regiment,” said that names are being registered, of those who want to go to Idlib.

Ahmad al-Audeh, a former commander of the “Free Army,” is now leading the “Fifth Regiment” formations in Southern Syria, the affairs of which Russia directly runs.

The number of personal registered under the “Regiment” is 2500 troops, amidst a competition with the “4th Division” that is recruiting military service escapees, whose number has reached about 1500 troops.

 

Yesterday, Sunday, activists have published footage showing Daraa troops’ arrival in Idlib, including armed groups from the city of Inkhil.

 

“Al-Twhid Brigade” from Northern Homs

The departure of the “legalization” factions towards Idlib is not limited to those in Southern Syria alone, for hundreds of troops have exited the northern countryside of Homs, the “legalization of status” deal of which provides for the necessity of fighting the “Islamic State” (ISIS) and “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS).

On August 25, the Syrian regime transported 400 troops of the “legalization” factions in the northern countryside of Homs to the surrounding of Idlib, to participate in the anticipated military operation against the opposition factions.

According to Enab Baladi’s reporter, the troops are joining the “al-Tawhid Brigade,” and were transported under the supervision of the “Tiger Forces” to al-Ghab Plain, in the western countryside of Hama, in the past a few days.

The reporter explained that dozens of the troops are preparing to exit towards Idlib to participate in the battles of Assad’s forces, pointing out to shifts that the troops are making, in addition to changing the personal every other day.

The northern countryside of Homs’ reconciliation agreement provided for enhancing security and stability in the cities and villages of the area.

In addition to turning “al-Tawhid Brigade,” which has lately signed a legalization agreement with the Syrian regime and Russian, into local police, the task of which is keeping the security of the area and supervising the international highway.

 

The agreement highlighted an “important” point, relating to the Brigades commitment to fight terrorism (ISIS and HTS) when needed.

The reporter quoted an informed source that 200 of “al-Tawhid Brigade” personal are expected to be taken to Idlib’s surrounding in the upcoming days.

 

Armed Groups from Southern Damascus

The villages in Southern Damascus are also of the areas from where “legalization” factions headed to Idlib, in addition to Daraa and rural Homs.

Mattar Ismail, an activist  from Southern Damascus, has yesterday said that a number of troops, under the “legalization” deal, and volunteers in the lines of Assad’s forces (the 4th Division in particular) left their areas to Idlib’s outskirts.

 

On his “Facebook” account, the activist published photos of the personals while preparing to leave Southern Damascus, pointing out that “some of these were functioning under the factions, others are civilians.”

 

Enab Baladi, early this week, managed to get information, quoting sources from Eastern Ghouta, that the area is also in a state of total alert, waiting for the departure of the armed groups that have signed legalization deals, as they show the willingness to participate in the battle of Idlib.

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