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Idlib: tensions escalate between Ahrar al-Sham, Tahrir al-Sham

Local | 2017-07-14 20:07:07
Idlib: tensions escalate between Ahrar al-Sham, Tahrir al-Sham
 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Tensions escalated between powerful Ahrar al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in northern Idlib province over killing two fighters from the former al-Qaeda branch in Syria, local activists said Friday.

Imad el-Din Moujahed, the Press Officer of Tahrir al-Sham denied the tension with Ahrar al-Sham, despite accusing Abu Issa al-Sheikh, the commander of al-Suqour Battalions -key unit in Ahrar al Sham- of deliberately torturing and killing Tahrir al-Sham fighters in Serja town.

Clerics and local activists echoed concern from mounting discords between the key powers in Idlib, saying the infighting, if happened, will be a golden chance for regime forces to push into Idlib or to make the Turkish plans to deploy troops an inevitable need.

In relevant development, Ahrar al-Sham, on Wednesday has arrested 32 ISIS militants following a week of major campaign to uproot the Islamic State from northern Idlib province, local activists said.

The alliance that led by former al Qaeda group, Fateh al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham, said ISIS sleeper cells are standing behind a series of suicide bombings that rocked Idlib province, leaving dozens of civilians and rebel commanders dead.

Last week, nine militants with links to the Islamic State were arrested after a deadly suicide bombing struck a teaching institute for Holy Quran where 15 people killed including children in the western countryside.

On Sunday, Tahrir al-Sham arrested Abu Sulaiman al-Russi, the ISIS security principal in the city of Idlib. Three more commanders and 7 militants were arrested in al-Dana town after raids on six pockets for the radical group. 

Tahrir al-Sham arrested Abu Ibrahim al-Iraqi who runs Idlib's sleeper cells, Abu al-Qa'qaa al-Janoubi, commander of Syrian north, and Abu al-Sawdaa al-Masri, the Shariah Responsible.

 Idlib is one of the most important strongholds of rebels, including jihadist factions, who seek to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, whose air force, along with that of his ally Russia, has been heavily bombarding rebel there.

The peaceful demonstrations that ended up with deadly war carried out by the Syrian regime and key regional players has killed at least 470,000 people, including 150,000 children and has displaced over 12 million people.

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