Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is still working to tighten its grip over the northwestern Syria region of Greater Idlib.
In the last few days, the terrorist group’s security forces arrested a number of infamous terrorists in Greater Idlib for not so clear reasons.
On April 4, seven terrorists, who were operating independently in Greater Idlib, were arrested by HTS. Enab Baladi listed the detainees as follows:
- Abu al-Laith M’abar, Abu Osama al-Gaza’iri and Abu al-Darda’ al-Gaza’iri: apprehended in the city of Idlib;
- Moaz al-Turki: apprehended in the village of al-Hamama in western Idlib;
- Abdul Rahim al-Turki: apprehended in the village of al-Qaniyah in western Idlib;
- Abdul Rahaman al-Turki: apprehended in the village of al-Yaqubiyah in western Idlib.
On April 5, the terrorist group arrested Abu Erwa Kansafra, a Syrian leader of Ansar al-Islam. The group is one of several al-Qaeda-linked formations which have been challenging HTS authority in Greater Idlib.
On April 6, the group apprehended Abu Dharr al-Masri, a prominent leader of al-Qaeda’s Horas al-Din. In October of last year, a number of sources claimed that he was killed in a US drone strike on Greater Idlib. Horas al-Din is HTS’ main foe in Greater Idlib.
HTS promotes these arrests as anti-terrorism efforts. However, in reality the terrorist group is working to eliminate any competition in Greater Idlib.
In a recent interview with the US Public Broadcasting Service, HTS leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani claims that his group only arrests Syrian and Russian agents as well as ISIS members. The terrorist most have forgotten about the presence of al-Qaeda in Greater Idlib.
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