The northwest region of Idlib and its environs in Syria has recently seen a military escalation as Syrian government forces backed by Russian airpower have retaken a number of localities from the insurgents and are not too far from the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'man that lies on the M5 highway connecting Damascus and Aleppo. In this context, the 'General Shura Council'- a body backed by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham- held a conference to launch a new mobilization initiative, under the title of 'Go Forth: Lightly and Heavily Armed.'
'Concluding statement for the conference of launching the campaign of 'Go Forth: Lightly and Heavily Armed'
1. Launching of the campaign of 'Go Forth: Lightly and Heavily Armed' to confront the Russian occupier and the Iranian militias and the criminal regime.
2. Announcing a state of general mobilization at all levels and in all fields.
3. Calling on all of the sons of the Syrian people in the interior and outside to participate in resisting this campaign with life and wealth and participating in the deeds of combat, fortification and offering support in all its forms.
4. Emphasizing the unity of the factions and their role in protecting the revolution and the calling on them to stick together and coordinate.
5. Proceeding on the principles of the revolution and their continuation and no comprising on bringing down the criminal regime and expelling the invading occupiers.'
The initiative has now led to the launching of a recruitment campaign on social media, providing phone numbers to contact via WhatsApp in various areas: Idlib, Atmeh and the IDP camps, the other northern border areas with Turkey, Jabal al-Zawiya in south Idlib countryside, Hama (i.e. Sahl al-Ghab area), and Aleppo (i.e. west Aleppo countryside). The advertisement can be seen below and has been promoted by the likes of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham's al-Zubair al-Ghazi.
On inquiry with one of the numbers, I was informed that the initiative has been launched in coordination between all the factions, and so the mobilization initiative involves all the factions and the affiliation offices affiliated with each faction. For those who wish to enlist in this latest mobilization initiative, it can take one of two forms: the recruit can either join a particular faction, or if he does not want to work with a particular faction, he can sign up for the Popular Resistance Brigades, which is nominally an independent movement. Salaries for new recruits will be the responsibility of the individual formation the recruit joins.
This particular campaign is maintaining its own offices that coordinate with the recruitment offices of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, the other factions, and the Popular Resistance Brigades.