Al-Nusra Commanders Oppose Relocation of Militants from Syria’s Western Ghouta to Idlib

Al-Nusra Commanders Oppose Relocation of Militants from Syria’s Western Ghouta to Idlib
Sun Nov 6, 2016 17:19:04

Top commanders of Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly al-Nusra Front) as well as a number of their counterparts in other terrorist groups that are deployed in Idlib voiced opposition to the transfer of the militants, who agreed on Saturday to leave their positions in Southwestern Damascus to relocate to Idlib.

“While the representatives of Damascus and militant groups are working jointly on relocating those militants, who have agreed to leave their positions in the regions of Khan al-Sheih, al-Zakiyeh, Moqilibiyeh, al-Tibeh, al-Hosseiniyeh and al-Keswat al-Sharghiyeh farms, the leaders of Fatah al-Sham have rejected militants' request to be transferred to Idlib,” media sources said.

"In the meantime, the Syrian government has voiced opposition to the relocation of militants of Khan al-Sheih and its surroundings in the provinces of Dara'a or Quneitra," the sources added.

"The terrorists in Western Ghouta have been in close contact with al-Mouk Operation Room in Jordan," the sources said.

"The Fatah al-Sham central command has accused militants in Khan al-Sheih of betrayal in their battle against the government forces in Darayya, saying negligence of these militants gave the upper hand to the Syrian army in the region," the sources added.

Based on the peace agreement with government, militants in Khan al-Sheih were to hand over their heavy weapons, equipment and the map of landmine-planted areas to the Syrian army and in return the army would allow them to leave the region for Idlib carrying only their light firearms.

The agreed peace plan was expected to come into force today or tomorrow to relocate the terrorists to Idlib from their largest base in Southwestern Damascus.

With the exit of the militants from Western Ghouta, the army would find a much stronger control over the security ring around the capital and al-Salam highway connecting Damascus to Quneitra.

The militants in Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta voiced concession on Saturday to the Syrian Army terms for their evacuation from the town to be relocated to Idlib province.

"Liberation of most regions near Khan al-Sheih and repelling the entire attacks of the terrorists who sought to lift the siege on Khan al-Sheih by the Syrian army forced the militants to decide to leave the town and hand it over to the government forces," army sources said.

"Terrorists have requested to be transferred to Dara'a, but Damascus and representatives of the Syrian army have voiced opposition because of the fierce clashes underway in that province," they added.

Talks between the Syrian army and Fatah al-Sham Front failed last week and terrorists did not agree to leave the town.

In the aftermath of the failure of the talks, the Syrian army increased its attacks on the terrorists' positions and the siege on Khan al-Sheih was also tightened. Following the army advances, the terrorists agreed relocation to Idlib.

Based on similar plans, Damascus always offers the militants amnesty in return for their surrender or their relocation to Idlib. Thousands of militants in different besieged towns in Western Ghouta, including Mo'adhamaiyeh and Darayya, have taken the chance to receive amnesty or be relocated to Idlib in the last two months.

S/SH 11

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