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Strange war in Idlib: how Moscow was able to force the fighters of IGIL to work for themselves

Strange war in Idlib: how Moscow was able to force the fighters of IGIL to work for themselves

Tags: Middle East, Syria, Militants, Terrorism, IGIL, War in the Middle East, Russia, Army, Analytics, War

In Idlib for the third month there is a strange war. Former allies of IGIL and An-Nusra (banned in the Russian Federation) are fiercely fighting each other, while Moscow, Tehran and Damascus receive dividends. Meanwhile, the former militant ally, Turkey, looks at it with undisguised irritation and understands that it can do nothing. How does all this fit in with logic? Yes, everything is very simple really.

Local and foreign

Already since 2014, the territory in Syria and Iraq, controlled by IGIL, has become a place where American mercenary fundamentalists have honed their skills and comprehended the art of war. They, helping their "brother-in-law" in Syria, were preparing to return home in the future and become the nucleus of future terrorist cells in their territories.

Thousands of militants from Europe, Russia, Asia and Africa. All of them became the "alien combat nucleus" of the so-called caliphate.

Still, a significant number of militants IGIL recruited from the local. The Arab mentality, on the one hand, is a delicate thing (small details in behavior are very important and often become either the cause of diplomatic failures, or the basis of their success), but, on the other, simple as a sleepers (the east loves force and obeys those who show it) .

Entire tribes of the Syrian desert in 2014 year one by one went under the banner of the "caliphate". At this time, IGIL rapidly expanded its territory, and many local tribes were forced to join it. They just wanted to save their lives and pay the tax in blood. But some did it quite voluntarily and with a long sight. Part of the local "leaders" really wanted to secure a good position in the new terrorist "state" and could well count on it.

Everything was good for them, while the "Caliphate" was strong, but the military fortune turned out to be changeable. The intervention of Russia and the subsequent rout of the Igilovites in central and eastern Syria put before the unfinished rulers of the desert a dilemma: either to perish together with the "Caliphate", or to win forgiveness from the legitimate government ...

The ball of the Idlib contradictions

The beginning of the 2017 year for the Assad regime was alarming. On the one hand, there was a clear break in the war against the "opposition" and IGIL, and on the other, there was obviously not much time. The US completed the training and deployment of forces under the banner of the SDF. They were preparing to launch a large-scale offensive later than summer, the main purpose of which was not only to "liberate" most of Syria and prevent government forces from entering this territory, but also to create a land corridor from Jordan to Kurdistan. This would sharply strengthen the position of both the Kurds and all other American allies in the region and would be a very painful defeat for the government forces and their allies.

The agreement with the militants in Idlib and other enclaves of the "moderate", concluded at the end of the winter of 2017, was for Damascus and Moscow a real gift of fate. Turkey, their former adversary, and now an ally, was able to secure a truce, which allowed "turn off" a significant force of "opposition" for half a year. As a result, Assad was able to concentrate his forces against IGIL and to inflict a quick and decisive defeat on them, thus preventing the implementation of American plans.

In July 2017, an upheaval took place in Idlib, as a result of which, instead of Turkey's fully-controlled militants Akhrar al-Sham, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group formed on the basis of the former An-Nusra came to power.

Less than a month later, Idlib's militants, in order to somehow support their Igilov "brother-in-law," at the command of the United States launched a concentrated offensive in the area north of Khama.

It was repulsed with heavy losses for the advancing party, but in August 2017, the SAA still had problems with IGIL, and therefore the violation of the "truce" came down to the militants at hand. Meanwhile, even then it became clear that without conducting a military operation against the Tahrir militants, the civil war in Syria did not end.

But how to start it, if after the August provocation the "moderate" sat quieter than water, below the grass? And then there was a job for those very local IGIL fighters who long and hard defended the Akerbatsky cauldron. The situation for those, as we already understood above, has developed quite scrupulous. But, judging by the subsequent events, the parties were able to find a solution that satisfied all.

In the last days of October, a small unharvested IGIL gang from the Akerbat pot "broke through" the positions of the SAA and, with a pounce, was able to repel three villages from the Takhrivites. Large forces of local militants were thrown against them, but, contrary to expectations and logic, the "Caliphates" were not only not defeated, but also moved into a large-scale offensive against their former comrades.

And the war, which was further conducted in this area, was very strange from the very first days. The units of IGIL and parts of the SAA, being near, did not notice each other and furiously beat the common enemy, pursuing it often together along parallel roads, passing literally several kilometers from each other.

At the same time, IGIL, having no rear and sources of replenishment of drugs and ammunition, managed to recapture the territory of 20 * 40 km from Takhrivites, where dozens of settlements are located. At the same time, part of the territory that was originally occupied by it, it "surrendered" to the government army without any battles (!!!).

This is what gave the SAA a reinforced concrete motive for intervention, which it did not fail to take advantage of. And only later it caused understandable concern in Ankara, which Moscow and Tehran in such a simple way deprived of future influence in northwestern Syria. And in Washington, who understands that Assad's army today is destroying his last trump card. But the United States can not do anything about it, except how to openly resent and threaten ... But the most offensive for the Americans is that Moscow and Damascus used to achieve the result of the militants IGIL, which Washington had created in its time for other purposes.

Yury Podolyaka (Yurasumy)
Military Review
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