first published on June 20, 2017 by Josh
The Northwestern Syria Campaign was a large scale military offensive that took place between October 2017, and February 2018. The operation was initially started by the Islamic State during an advance against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the northern Hama Governorate. As a result of this in-fighting between the two massive terror organizations, the Syrian Arab Army staged an assault to capitalize on the chaos. Hoping to take ground away from the many rebel factions in the intersection of the provinces of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo, dragging in every other rebel faction and terrorist organization in the area.
At the conclusion of the operation, which lasted for a total of four months and four days, the Islamic State captured over 100 villages from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham allowing them to reenter the Idlib and Aleppo areas. Following this, the Syrian Arab Army managed to recaptured 378 villages and towns from a number of rebel groups, as well as everything that was previously controlled by the Islamic State. Over 1,200 fighters were killed between all sides of the battle, with another 200+ civilians being killed in the crossfire, and an additional 6,000 civilians were permanently displaced from their homes in the region that the battle took place.
The video clip contained at the bottom of this article comes from a larger, much more disturbing propaganda piece that was released by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. In the production, titled Metals of Man, the group chronicles their perspective of the fighting that took place between themselves, the Islamic State, and Syrian Government forces during the Northwestern Syria Campaign. While the propaganda piece makes it look as if the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria was successful in their endeavors, it was released prematurely and does not state the fact that they lost massive amounts of land and resources in the fighting due to their ultimate loss at the conclusion, which left them extremely battered by Syrian Government forces.
While this battle ultimately re-drew the battle lines in Syria, this particular video shows the success of the Al-Qaeda affiliate group operating in Syria. The tank is controlled by crew members from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, and the dismounted fighters that it is chasing down and crushing are members of the Islamic State. We have said it in the past, and we will say it again, but whenever these two organizations meet on the field of battle to fight each other, everyone wins because they are wasting and depleting each others resources and fighting power to kill one another. In the end, it makes for less extremists in the world, and that’s a win any way you look at it.