Groups of militants in the southern part of the demilitarized zone in Idlib, led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra outlawed in Russia), are creating a strike force and their attack on Hama is not ruled out, the chief of Russia’s center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties in Syria, Major-General Viktor Kupchishin told the media on Saturday.
“According to information available at this point groups of militants under the command of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have been building up strength near Latamna and Kafer-Zaita in the south of the de-escalation zone Idlib over the past few days. It should not be ruled out that they are creating a strike force with the aim of mounting an offensive against Hama,” Kupchishin said.
This claim by the Russian Ministry of Defense comes just days after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) began amassing troops along the Idlib-Hama axis in northwestern Syria.
The Syrian Arab Army has already begun striking the jihadist defenses in southern Idlib and northern Hama; however, they have yet to storm any areas.