On September 12, security forces of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) arrested twelve jihadists in Greater Idlib for unknown reasons.
“HTS arrested a group of jihadi fighters as they passed one of its checkpoints in the city of Idlib,” the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in a report.
According to the monitoring group, the jihadists were either working independently or affiliated with the so-called Fa Ithbatu Operations Room. The operations room, which was founded a few months ago, is led by Horas al-Din, the main rival of HTS.
HTS has arrested many jihadists, including a number of foreigners, in Greater Idlib over the last few months. The group’s most recent detainee was notorious French jihadist “Omar Diaby,” who leaded a small armed group known as “Firqat al-Ghuraba.”
Last month, foreign jihadists in Greater Idlib threatened HTS with serious consequences if it continues to arrest people without any clear charges.
By persecuting foreign jihadists, HTS is apparently hoping to appease its newest ally, Turkey, as well as the West.
In a recent interview with Switzerland’s LETEMPS, HTS’ Shar’i [religious leader], Abdul Rahim Atoun, called on Western countries to “normalize relations” with people in Greater Idlib, who are, in his opinion, represented by HTS.
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