"'It ain't over 'til it's over'" - - Y. Berra.
From Patrick Cockburn thanks to the Ron Unz Internet web site.
"While Defeat of Isis Dominates Attention, al-Qaeda Gets Stronger"
"Al-Qaeda is creating its most powerful stronghold ever in north-west Syria at a time when world attention is almost entirely focused on the impending defeat of Isis [the Islamic State] in the east of the country. It has established full control of Idlib province and of a vital Syrian-Turkish border crossing since July. 'Idlib Province is the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,'” - - Brett McGurk, the senior US envoy to the international coalition fighting Isis.
Area in pink as controlled by the central government in Damascus beholden to the despot Assad. Green as currently occupied by HTS fighters. Turkey in white to the upper left. Mediterranean in blue on the far left. Al-Shams. Travel the Aleppo/Hama/Homs/Damascus road in either direction only at your own peril. Understand and heed! Click on image to see an enlarged view.
"HTS is estimated to have 30,000 experienced fighters whose numbers will grow as it integrates brigades from other defeated rebel groups and recruits young men from the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have sought refuge in Idlib from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces."
READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE THE SITUATION IN DEIR EZZOR DISCUSSED IN DETAIL.