Clashes between HTS and armed factions in Syria’s Idlib

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – On Monday, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front) launched violent attack against strongholds of some armed factions in the Turkmen Mountain, north of Latakia and in Jisr al-Shughur, west of Idlib, northwest Syria.

In the last 48 hours, the HTS raised combat readiness and brought tens of armored vehicles and heavy artillery to the aforementioned areas, special forces told North Press.

Today morning, the HTS launched an attack on sites affiliated with Muslim al-Shishani, leader of Jund al-Sham group, leading to violent fighting between both sides and causing deaths and wounds.

The attacks were also carried out against headquarters of Abi Fatema al-Turki, leader of Jundallah, on charges of enlisting fighters from Guardians of Religion Organization, a group HTS has been trying to dissolve for months.

The HTS also stormed Jundallah group headquarters in Jisr al-Shughur area.     

“The HTS brought up to 100 vehicles loaded with heavy weapons to the Turkmen Mountain and took control of Omar Abdelwahab’s headquarters. In addition, it assaulted Jundallah positions,” Bilal Abdulkarim, the US journalist, reported.

Abdulkarim added that Jundallah arrested several HTS fighters and burnt two vehicles. Tense increase as HTS search some houses in Jisr al-Shughur.

Earlier, the HTS demanded leaderships of Jundallah and Junud al-Sham to leave their positions in Latakia and Idlib and hand over their weapons within a specific time. HTS accuses some fighters of the two groups of criminal charges, head of HTS media office stated.

The fights between the groups timed with Russia and Turkey’s attempts to eliminate the groups classified as ‘terrorist’ in Syria, secure the implementation of the ceasefire agreement in March 2020, and create a safe zone on two sides of the Aleppo-Latakia highway (M4 Highway).

Reporting by Bara’ al-Shami