Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has banned the formation of any new operations rooms or factions in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
The group announced the decision in an official statement released late on June 27, arguing other groups in the region to work in the framework of the so-called the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room.
“In view of the exceptional military situation in the region, it was decided that:
- It is prohibited to establish any other operations rooms or to form any new factions, at the risk of accountability, so that all military activities become directed by the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room.
- Anyone who wants to contribute to the military field can do so through the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room,” reads the statement.
The al-Fateh al-Mubeenn Operations Rooms was established last year by HTS and prominent Turkish-backed groups in Greater Idlib, including the National Front for Liberation.
The decision to ban new formations in Greater Idlib was promoted by HTS as a step to “unify military efforts” in this area. Nevertheless, opposition sources reported that the decision was meant to dissolve al-Qaeda’s Fa Ithbatu Operations Room that had had a recent fallout with HTS.
HTS’s decision restates the terrorist group’s position of the ruler and law enforcer in Greater Idlib. The group has been attempting to turn the region into its private “de-facto state” since late 2018.