On Tuesday, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) attacked Aharar al-Sham in the province of Idlib. The escalation became a result of a series of tensions between the two groups over the influence in the militant-held province.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members stormed Ahrar al-Sham positions near the village of Hizareen and reportedly sezied the village after series of firefights. Some two Ahrar al-Sham members were allegedly killed.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Ahrar al-Sham competee for the political and military leadership in the province that allows to control cash and weapon flows via the Idlib part of the Turkish-Syrian border. Another issue is the influence at the diplomatic level of the conflict. HTS is excluded from any kind of negotiations to solve the Syrian conflict because the group has ties with al-Qaeda.
According to some experts, HTS will make an attempt to establish a full control over the provincial capital soon. Ahrar al-Sham and some Free Syrian Army groups will likely try to oppose this move.