BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – Jihadist militants of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria (TIP), an anti-government faction made up of central Asian Uyghur foreigners who operate in the rebel-held areas of northern Latakia and Idlib Governonates, have released new photos of their ranks.
Since the pro-government victory at Aleppo in December 2016, the TIP group has disappeared from the spotlight of rebel propaganda. Some observers suggested that the jihadist group’s manpower had been so badly savaged during the last two rebel offensives to try and lift the siege of Aleppo (both of which failed spectacularly) that it was no longer a viable force among militant factions in northwestern Syria.
In any case, the TIP group has released new photos showing them carrying out patrols, parading and gathering up.
Although there is no evidence or rumors to suggest that a rebel offensive in the area of northern Latakia is going to take place soon, this very recent propaganda release by the jihadist group might be an indication that they are planning to partake in some operation against pro-government forces. However, this is only speculation based on observations of how rebel factions generally coordinate propaganda campaigns with upcoming offensive actions.
As with the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) jihadist group, the TIP faction also carries out suicide attacks with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) during major offensive actions. The only reason why it has not done so lately – since 2017 began – is because there has been no major rebel operation in which it has partaken.