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Erik Ohlsson: al-Qaeda's followers take over the Idlib province in Syria

After an offensive that began shortly after the new year, have the al-Qaidaanknutna militia Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), crushed the armed opposition, which belong to the more moderate and västtillvända groupings. To the hard-line jihadists in the HTS taken over means that Idlibs just over three million inhabitants found themselves in an almost impossible bind.

With the terror Hayat Tahrir al-Shams ”emirs” in power, residents will be forced to submit to strict sharia law. The grouping has already dissolved the civil police force, who received the contribution by the EU, and replaced it with the religious police.

gathered in the umbrella of the National front (NLF) has been supported by Turkey. But Turkey is acting very passively in Idlib. Obviously, concentrating the turks, another one of the fronts in the Syrienkriget, in the north-east, where the US-backed and of syrienkurder dominated the SDF (Syrian forces) control.

This means that the Syrian regeringsarmé is the force that can eliminate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib. The syrian government forces supported by Russia with its bombflyg and Iran, which supports various militias. During an attack on Idlib from there, the risk is imminent that the civilian population ends up in the firing line between the jihadists and the regime.

It was under the threat of such a massive bulgaria river cruise ship that two of the leading players in the Syrienkriget, Russia and Turkey, concluded a local peace agreement for Elections of the nearly four months ago, in september of last year.

and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in the Russian resort of Sochi and agreed to create a 15 to 20-mile-wide buffer zone inside in Idlib, where the Russian and Turkish troops would maintain order.

According to the Russian-Turkish agreement would the jihadi groups, mainly Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, voluntarily withdraw and hand over their weapons.

But it has not been. Instead, they have about 15 000 HTS-terrorists with violence, incorporating other armed groups, or driven them to flight. The situation in Idlib is set to its tip.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, ”Levantens liberation front” is originated from the Jabat al-Sham, which was more explicitly linked to al-Qaeda. But HTS links to the terror network considered clear by all the experts.

within the Syrian forces in northwestern Syria has created a conflict with the united states. In particular, with president Donald Trump, who on Monday wrote a Twittermeddelande where he warns that the U.S. ”will destroy the economy of Turkey if they attack the kurds”.

the Relationship between Washington and Ankara have a long time been anything but stable, and the US has already put punitive tariffs on Turkish metal. The Turkish lira weakened immediately after the Trumps Twitterutspel.

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