DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:20 P.M.) – The Syrian al-Qaeda-offshoot has conducted military exercises in the western countryside of Idlib, less than a fortnight after similar drills in the southern parts of the province.
Formerly known as Nusra Front, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham released photos for the military training carried out by its ‘elite forces’ using heavy and light weapons including tanks and machineguns.
Whether the exercises took place inside the de-militarization zone agreed-on by Turkey and Russia or somewhere else hasn’t yet been disclosed.
However, according to unconfirmed reports, the photos released were taken from Mount Zāwiya.
HTS has earlier released an official statement rejecting the recently-concluded Idlib agreement between Russia and Turkey, vowing to continue fight against the Syrian Army and allies.
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the jihadist rebels in northwest Syria on Thursday of attempting to wreck the Idlib buffer zone agreement.
“There are still Nusra militants in Idlib who are not stopping their attempts to wreck the implementation of the memorandum that was agreed between Russia and Turkey,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, was cited as saying.
On October 31, The Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense , General Igor Konashinkov, stated that Turkey had not fulfilled all of their responsibilities in regards to Idlib agreement that was established on September 17th in Sochi.
“Ankara has failed in implementing all the responsibilities and commitments which the Idlib Agreement stipulates for with regard to establishing a demilitarized zone the province, but they have exerted tangible efforts in this regard,” Konashinkov said.