Another Day, Another Town Taken in Syria’s Russian-Backed Idlib Offensive

This time without a fight

Tigers are taking selfies in front of the old castle in Qalaat Al-Mudiq (pre-war population: 15,000). Reportedly they took it without a fight after the Islamists who held it retreated deeper into Idlib jihadistan ahead of them. That means one of three things:

1.) The jihadis retreated because having lost Kafr Nabudah the day before they were left open in three different directions. (Look bottom map.)

2.) The jihadis retreated because the outcome of the offensive has long been determined in Turkish-Russian negotiations and there is no point in dying for land that has already been traded.

3.) The jihadis retreated because while there hasn’t been a “sale”, a bunch of people believe that and morale is shot.

A lot of people believe 2.) is right. In a war where Damascus offensives lately clearly require Moscow-Ankara consultations and a joint green light you cannot blame them.

That said, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the rebel coalition led by al-Qaeda, has staked its reputation on being independent of Turkey, and fighting when others won’t. The mere fact that the Syrians and the Russians are advancing in the vicinity of Turkish outposts and Erdogan isn’t raising a voice in protest is no reason why they couldn’t fight and fight hard if they wanted to. Papa Erdogan so far isn’t riding to their rescue but he was supposed to be a lightweight, and barely a Muslim anyway. But maybe they believe Turkey will guarantee the Syrians/Russians do not take too much.

On the other hand, on the Latakia section of the front (where terrain is more rugged and which is substantially manned by Central Asians who can’t lay down their arms) the Syrian probing attacks didn’t go anywhere, and from now on it’s an uphill battle for the government side:

Bonus: Russian Su-30 escorts a US Reaper drone:

  1. JHK says

    Erdogan is Ikhwani Muslim Brotherhood which is fundamentally moderate relying on protest and revolution over armed conflict.

    Whereas AlQaeda primarily believes in Defensive Jihad against zios and nato with a Strategy of collapsing the americunt empire.

    HTS is escapist of both isis and AlQaeda, taking a middle ground between the two extremes of murjiah (a flaw of moderates) and khawarij (extremists known for takfir).

    And anyone can walk into a town after Russia or nato uses its weapons on it. HTS does have a profound respect for Taliban who are close to defeating nato in Afghanistan, another God(swt) granted Miracle after the ouster of Soviets.

    The taking of Idlib will not be a step in taking on the kurds, or al tanf, or Golan, because Idlib is a sectarian war created by Assheads Father, despite Imam Khomeini(rh)s insistence that Syria not become a sectarian war.

    So Assad failed to prove himself as a Muslim leader, and the zios capitalized on this weakness and implemented their yinon plan, divide and conquer and seemingly irreparable sectarian conflict.

    1. Marko Marjanović says

      I read that Hafez was big on presenting Alawites as Muslim and even making them more so, but that in substance they are not, at least not a great deal more so than say the Druze or the Sikhs.

      1. JHK says

        Theoretical Alawites is the next best thing to Imam AlMahdi(as) because they are branched from Imam AlAskari(as), the 11th Imam.

        I dont know much about Hafez except that he was oppressed by Muslim Brotherhood who were rich and powerful. But Imam Khomeini(rh) did warn Hafez of fighting as sects.

        Whether Assads are actually semite has the exact same likelihood of zios saying that they are jews.

        And the best way to prove it is chains of narration passed on and narrated from generation to generation, where even bagdadi who claims to be from Imam Naqi(as), the 10th Imam(as), becomes questionable when somewhere somehow theres no more living chains of narration (except maybe due to the development of Books and writing).

        But yeah, Ive never heard a word of Islamic or even Abrahmic thought from assad who wanted to be a doctor or western or secular and not Syrian, plus he chooses to claim to be Sunni, and having 90% Sunni in his army, except that outside of Syria its completely inverted.

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