Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Drone Wars Unleashed in Idlib Province?, by Sophie Mangal

The current situation in the Syrian province of Idlib continues to alarm.
Although the green buses brought to Idlib hundreds of militants from Aleppo, Deir-Ezzor, Eastern Ghouta, and other areas of the country, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) will be extremely difficult to resist the battle-hardened Assad’s Government army.

In this regard, the radicals are trying to line up the entire population of the Idlib Governorate and take under control all the terror groups inside the province that are now at turf war among themselves. Also, terrorists learn the ropes of intimidation of the enemy trying to inflict damage without contact and entering a battle.

Speaking of the population in the besieged province everything is more or less understandable. The civilians in Idlib do not belong to the militant families are robbed, raped, used as slaves, killed or forced to join terrorists. But as to some quarreling field commanders disagreeing with their policies, Jabhat al-Nusra launched a large-scale war.

Thus, one of the leaders resisting HTS, Khalid al-Wazir, was killed in a drone attack recently. Not even the fact of the elimination, but the way draws attention. Apparently, the al-Nusra militants run in the tactics of the fight using combat UAVs and the experience of the Taliban’s leaders elimination in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, their indiscriminate attacks against other radicals could be a threat to the suppressed locals.

But the field commanders who are in terror of their life for being opposed to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, they are not the single purpose. Inside Syria Media Center military sources report that such a tactic has also been actively used against the Syrian Arab army (SAA). Only during last week, the SAA in Idlib province shot down eleven unmanned aerial vehicles launched by radicals. UAV’s were launched from the territory controlled by the jihadists to the position of government troops near the western outskirts of Abu-Dalib, Kafr Zayta in the south of Idlib and Jisr al-Shughur in the southeast.

It has been affirmed that all the drones were knocked down. The representatives from the Government troops inspected the drones’ fragments said that the drone-attacks are marked by an increase in the past few decades. They also claimed most of the UAV’s were made by the skilled practitioners or western-made.

By all accounts, HTS understand that they are too weak to organize effective armed resistance. So, they try to maintain their strength and defense by using drones. Still, their tactics do not confuse the Syrian army. But for peaceful residents of Idlib, the inevitable drones’ strikes will become another of many endless threats to life.