On November 7, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement announced that its fighters repelled an attack of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formelry Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) on its positions in Atme village in the northwestern Aleppo countryside and al-Dana village in the eastern Idlib countryside.
Syrian opposition activists reported that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) attacked Atme and al-Dana villages because the al-Zenki Movement had arrested several HTS fighters in Hayyan, Haritan and Anadan towns north of Aleppo city. Sources close to the al-Zenki Movement said that the HTS fighters were arrested after they had stoled weapons and vehicles from al-Zenki positions north of Aleppo.
The situation escalated and on November 8 Syrian opposition sources reported that al-Zenki launched a counter attack against HTS and captured Tqad and Bstrun villages, a check point of HTS on the Tqad-Ibzamo road and the 111th Regiment military base in the western Aleppo countryside.
HTS officials told to the HTS-linked news agency on November that they were “surprised” when the al-Zenki Movement arrested their fighters in northern Aleppo. The officials didn’t reveal any details about the HTS attack on Atme and al-Dana.
Back in July, the al-Zenki Movement defected from HTS following the HTS battle against the Ahrar al-Sham Movement. Since then, the al-Zenki Movement has become the main enemy of HTS in Idlib governorate.
HTS will likely launch another attack against the al-Zenki Movement in the upcoming hours. However, with the Turkish Army deployed in Darat Izza town east of Atme, the northern Aleppo countryside might witness the first clash between the Turkish Army and HTS.