According to opposition sources, during the past two days, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham arrested dozens of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters who are operating within the Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield forces. According to the sources, the number of detainees reached more than 60 fighters, most of them came to Idlib to visit their families during Eid al-Fitr.
HTS arrested six FSA fighters, and a commander of Ahrar al-Sham Movement known as “Abu Zeid” in Al-Maghara village. HTS then released the commander of Ahrar al-Sham after Ahrar al-Sham arrested several HTS fighters. However, HTS didn’t release FSA members.
In Jabal al-Zawya, HTS arrested 12 fighters from Goseph village, raided a house in Ahsam town, arrested an FSA fighter and killed his brother, who tried to oppose them. HTS also arrested four fighters from Jarjnaz village and three from Abu Makki village in the northern Idlib countryside while they were attempting to return to the Euphrates Shield-held areas. Several fighters were also arrested in the villages of Ma’rat Horma, Hayish and Kefrsagnah.
Idlib Province is witnessing instability and chaos and HTS is considered the strongest group in the province now. HTS is constantly working on expanding its influence in Idlib and recently has started combating with pro-Turkish groups for the influence directly.