OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
No, they took over years ago -- I think even before they changed the name to HTS -- and the British regime knew this. British support became "unsustainable" only when it was obvious they couldn't stop the Syrian army's advance on Idlib. But the regime knew all along what their aid was supporting -- it was out in the open in the U.K.; the headline in The Times report (8/22) clearly indicates this: Britain scraps controversial aid to Syrian rebel areas:
Britain is halting a much criticised scheme to support the opposition in rebel-held areas of Syria, in a symbolic move which acknowledges that the seven-year revolution is effectively over.But this doesn't mean they've stopped helping HTS:
An attempt to create an independent police force is to be scrapped from next month. Projects financing local councils are under review and likely to be stopped by the end of the financial year.Only "likely," eh? They're waiting to see where HTS goes next.
All right; we get a little more of the story from Voltaire Network's discussion of the Times report:
August 22, 2018
On August 13, 2018, British Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt assured the House of Commons that he regretted the 2013 vote in which Parliament opposed a military intervention against the "Assad regime" ( sic).
However, according to The Times of August
So far, the UK is funding local communities in the Idlib region. In fact, this area is occupied by jihadists from all over the country. Each locality is run by different armed groups, who often fight each other.
Turkey, the United Kingdom and France provide all their supplies. Most importantly, the Turkish army and the British SAS (Special Forces of the Air Force) occupy the area de facto.
Meanwhile, Syria and Russia are preparing to storm the jihadists.
Translation: Roger Lagassé