On July 15, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, launched a security operation against Infamous Chechen leader Muslim Abu Walid al-Shishani and his group Junud al-Sham.
According to Syrian opposition sources, a large security force of HTS stormed several positions of Junud al-Sham in the northern countryside of Lattakia, including the group’s main headquarters in the town of al-Yumaidah.
HTS security forces are searching for al-Shishani, who reportedly took to northern Lattakia mountains along with his best militants.
Al-Shishani refused to joint HTS. Last week, however, the leader decided to dissolve his group and leave Greater Idlib along with his militants.
The motives behind HTS’ decision to launch an operation against Junud al-Sham remain unclear. Al-Shishani and his militants, who have been fighting in the northern countryside of Lattakia for over eight years, could pose a challenge to HTS. Many hardliners in Greater Idlib are already criticizing the group’s aggression against al-Shishani.
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