As it has been noted by multiple experts, the Idlib demilitarized zone agreement itself is not enough to put an end to violence in the northwestern part of Syria. The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Turkish-backed militant groups have done nothing to eliminate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in Idlib. So, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is now working to boost its presence in the “demilitarized zone”.
Recently, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham captured the village of Zayzun and several nearby points in western Hama from the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NLF). Zayzun is located in the demilitarized zone and is supposed to be free of radicals and heavy weapons. However, this appears to be far from the reaility.
According to local sources, the NFL, without a direct TAF assistance, is not capable of preventing the further expansion of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which had exploited the ceasefire [started in September] to regroup and resupply own forces.
Late on December 4, a car bomb exploded in the militant-held village of Atarib. Local sources link this incident to the current tensions between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish-backed militants.