Alwaght- After long-time silence and inaction by the terrorist groups controlling Idlib in northeastern Syria, news reports recently published from their inner circles show that they have started new political moves to secure their stay in the future Syria developments amid paralysis they were hit by following Turkey and Arab abandonment of backing to them. In this regard, reports suggest that in recent days Tahrir Al-Sham, the leading group in control of Idlib, held a meeting in Sarmada town in the city's outskirts with a number of allies of the terrorist group's commander Abu Mohammed al-Julani and heads of organizations and societies affiliated with Western governments. The purpose of the meeting, sources said, was to announce a new roadmap and initiation of a new stage to improve the image of the group and paint it as a Syrian opposition group.
In the meeting, al-Julani talked about a plan to capture Aleppo and said that this will happen in the next one or two years, Lebanon’s Al-Akbar newspapers reported. The terror ringleader also pointed to his plan to unite the areas out of the control of the Syrian government using military power and the “golden age” in which the group is living. Some sources have pointed to the increasing level of security coordination between Tahrir Al-Sham and the US, and France joining them, something giving Paris great flexibility to work with al-Julani especially in pursuit of French nationals in the ranks of the terrorist group.
Reportedly, one of the topics of discussion was increase of cooperation between Idlib-based terrorist group and the Washington-sponsored Syrian Kurdish militias to keep out of control of central government the northern regions because the cooperation of these two groups will pave the way for American occupation. Washington plans to create an alliance between the Takfiris and Kurdish groups to prevent convergence between the Kurdish leaders and Syrian officials, who have held meetings in recent months. The Kurds and the US are seeking to establish an autonomous government away from the control of the central government in the north, and the new scheme of the White House can send the Kurds more determined to continue their course, because they are serving as the US leverage against Damascus.
The White House officials are trying to re-occupy all or parts of the strategic city of Aleppo with the help of terrorists and Kurds and consolidate their foothold in northern Syria. In this relation, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (FSB) announced in a report on Tuesday that the US once again plans to use extremists to carry out its destructive actions in Syria. Probably, these sabotage programs are part of the agreement reached in the recent meeting between Tahrir Al-Sham and the Americans.
The statement about Al-Julani meeting the Americans is not new, and in recent years multiple meetings were held between the terrorists and the US officials. According to Al-Alam news network, in June 2021, CIA officials met Al-Nusra Front’s leaders in Idlib suburbs and the US President Joe Biden ordered revival and strengthening of this takfiri group. Washington even promised it will eliminate the group's name from the terror blacklist and recognize it as “moderate” opposition to allow it play the role of Washington’s bargaining card in any future negotiations.
On the other hand, in March, Sputnik news agency, quoting local sources in the outskirts of Idlib, reported a meeting between officers of the British intelligence service and the commanders of Tahrir Al-Sham. In this meeting, the British intelligence service was handed over 3 foreign militants whose exact identity was kept unknown.
Also, in May last year, citing local sources, Al-Mayadeen news network reported about a meeting of Tahrir Al-Sham commander and Turkish intelligence officers. The National Intelligence Organization of Turkey in January held a secret meeting with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham to discuss latest Northern Syria developments and ways to confront Tahrir Al-Sham. Given these secret meetings of the terrorists with the Turkish and American officials, it seems that some kind of cooperation between these countries and the takfiris has been established so that they can continue to destabilize Syria. Although Turkey is seeking to normalize relations with Syria, it is stepping against this policy with its suspicious actions. Turkish government plans to build one million housing units in northern Syria for refugees, most of them in Idlib and the area under the control of Tahrir Al-Sham, which means that Ankara will continue to support these groups.
Al-Julani’s new manifest, in which he named his forces the new soldiers of the West, shows that the terrorists are not happy with what is happening in the region. Syria's return to the Arab League and Turkey's moves to normalize relations with Damascus have tightened the noise on the Idlib-based takfiri groups so seriously that they turned to the West for their survival. After all, the Persian Gulf monarchies and Turkey, which were the biggest supporters of these groups, now have extended a hand of friendship to Syrian government under a new policy abandoning these takfiri groups in the face of the Syrian army.
It is obvious that terrorists cannot survive without foreign aids and therefore, amid losing their regional allies, they are looking for alternatives. Tahrir Al-Sham, which is in dire straits financially, can get a lot of financial resources with the help of the US and the transit of the stolen Syrian to inject fresh blood into the veins of its remaining elements.
Re-igniting the war to continue occupation
Regardless of the goals of the terrorist groups that are seeking an exit from the security tight spot they are in, Washington is also seeking goals behind reviving these groups in line with its regional policies. Despite the normalization of Arab and Turkish relations with Damascus, Washington officials still insist that they will never normalize their relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Therefore, in order to justify its occupying presence in northern Syria, the Americans need to foment a crisis, and the takfiris of Tahrir Al-Sham can keep the fire of war burning by acting as the West’s infantry. After all, the Americans claim that they are present in Syria to fight the terrorists, and if these groups are weakened, there is no excuse to justify their presence, and actually for this purpose, it needs to revive the terrorists to plunder Syria's oil and gas.
Additionally, Washington wants to show that even without Turkey and Arab states, the terrorists can flex their muscles. Also, part of the stolen Syrian oil goes to Turkey from Idlib crossing to be sent to the Israeli regime and other markets. Partnership with Tahrir Al-Sham will speed up this lucrative trade.
Another issue is that Washington does not tolerate Syria regaining security and stability that mark a triumph for the Axis of Resistance, a regional bloc headed by Iran and consisting of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Palestine. Therefore, it struggles to restart the crisis to increase security challenges to Damascus. Rejuvenated clashes are also good news to the security of the Israeli regime and will help distract the attention from the occupied territories to the terrorists. Al-Assad’s power gain, which in the American viewpoint means Iranian influence gain just next to the Israeli borders, marks a serious threat to Tel Aviv and can put it in a security encirclement at a time the occupied territories are inflamed in terms of security and politics.
Helping the old foe Al-Qaeda
Though the US finds support to terrorist groups as the only choice at its disposal to restore crisis in Syria, this is not an easy choice. Tahrir Al-Sham that the US is reviving came out of Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization Washington for years claimed it has been fighting.
Washington is investing on Tahrir Al-Sham while in December 2012, the US Department of State blacklisted Al-Nusra Front, which was founded by al-Julani and re-branded in 2016, and even in December 2020 announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to his capture. Even invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was aimed at taking down Al-Qaeda, and there is an old enmity between Washington and this terrorist organization. Given Tahrir Al-Sham's strategy, the strengthening of terrorists in the future can have irreparable costs for the US and Europeans and bring back terrorism to the Western capitals like Paris attacks in 2015.
Furthermore, the US and Europe think that by artificial ventilation to terrorists, they can keep painting northern Syrian parts as being in critical conditions to produce excuses for their occupation.
But the fact is that tens of small militias exist in Idlib and are clashing with each other and do not want to operate under Al-Julani. Over the past two years, bloody clashes occurred between them and Tahrir Al-Sham. Thus, the US resorting to these groups to secure victories against the Syrian army is like milking a ram, as the Syrian forces are now at their power peak and terrorists can make no gains against them even with Western arms and funding.