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Islamic State advances towards rebel-held stronghold in south Idlib

Islamic State advances towards rebel-held stronghold in south Idlib

PanARMENIAN.Net - Islamic State militants, having recently broken-out from Syrian Arab Army encirclement in Hama province, are currently battling their way towards a key IS loyalist town in rebel-held southeast Idlib called At-Tamanaa where at least one thousand willing reinforcements await, Al-Masdar News reports.

Most of the Islamic State militants who were in Hama (and are now in southeast Idlib), belong to an old affiliate group that was active inside rebel-held northwest Syria until February 2017 (when it was pushed to leave by Al-Qaeda-linked forces under the threat of all-out war) called Jund al-Aqsa.

The leader of the ex-Jund al-Aqsa IS fighters is Radwan Al-Bakri. The commander comes from At-Tamanaa. The town is a place where he not only recruited existing militants, but where he still has many loyalist sleeper agents awaiting the right moment to rise up and join ranks.

According to opposition sources, the town of At-Tamanaa has up to one thousand (some reports say several thousand) Islamic State loyalists present in it – themselves ex-Jund al-Aqsa fighters who since became sleeper agents after to militant faction was forced to leave rebel-held northwest Syria.

At the present time, IS has captured the towns of Umm Khalakhil, Luwaybidah and Musharifah (as reported by opposition sources) from rebels in southeast Idlib, meaning the terrorist group is around ten kilometers away from reaching At-Tamanaa with only four settlements in-between.

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