In an attempt to take advantage of the new ceasefire in Greater Idlib, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is reportedly working to revive it depleted special forces, known as the “Red Bands.”
On March 15, opposition activists revealed that the group’s special forces is carrying out a large recruitment campaign in Greater Idlib.
HTS released a poster calling on its members who are in a sound physical condition and have “free time” to join the so-called Red Bands and the Inghimasi force, which is mainly responsible for suicide attacks.
The terrorist group’s special forces were depleted in the recent battles against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Greater Idlib. Dozens, including highly-experienced personnel, were killed or injured during the clashes in western Aleppo and southeast Idlib.
While HTS presents the Red Bands as some sort of an elite unit of super soldiers, the truth is far from this. The unit’s fighters are often killed immediately by Syrian or Russian airstrikes.
HTS attempts to revive these units show that the terrorist group is not willing to respect the ceasefire agreement, that was brokered by Russia and Turkey earlier this month. The group openly rejected the agreement, vowing to continue the fight against Syrian government forces and their allies.