The battle for the city of Idlib has been nothing short of bloody, as the opposing parties involved in this fight throw everything they have at one another, amidst the tumultuous thunder of mortars and rockets raining down on the civilian population caught between the frontlines.
The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” (Victory Front) and their allies from Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham (Liberation of the Levant Movement) wasted no time on Thursday morning, as they would attack multiple checkpoints in northern and western Idlib, reaching the city gates for the first time 72 hours.
Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham’s social media activists flooded Twitter and Facebook with multiple posts and pictures of their fighters on the frontlines; even going as far as claiming their combatants entered the Midan (suburbs) of Idlib City.
Continuing the narrative that the Islamist rebels had entered the city of Idlib and cutoff the final supply line to the city at the Al-Fou’aa axis, the Islamic Front’s (Jabhat Al-Islamiyah) Twitter page posted a battle map depicting the alleged gains made by their fighters on Thursday.
To counter, a pro-Syrian Arab Army page “Idlib News Network” reported that the alleged gains by Islamist rebels were fabricated and that the pictures and videos were taken by Islamic Front activists; those of whom were later arrested.
According to a National Defense Forces (NDF) source inside of Idlib City, the Islamist rebels were able to breach the NDF frontlines at the western axis and the Youth Housing Quarter at the northern axis; however, the source alleges that the infiltrators were beaten back before nightfall.
Reinforcements from the Syrian Arab Army’s 11th Tank Division (Ariha) and National Defense Forces (Latakia) arrived at 10 P.M. to greet the Governor of Idlib before they took up positions on the western axis.