On March 7, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) continued its large-scale military operation against the Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) in the western Aleppo countryside and captured the villages of al-Sa’adiyah and A’jil as well as the housing complexes of al-Arman, al-Fursan and al-Rahal, according to the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a.
Opposition sources said that SLF fighters had repelled a new attack by HTS on their positions between the town of Khan al-Subul and the city of Maarrat al-Nu’man in the southern Idlib countryside. Dozens HTS fighters were reportedly killed.
SLF leader Hassan Soufan claimed in a video message on March 6 that his force had won the battle against HTS and had achieved all of its goals. Soufan also called for a ceasefire and a reconciliation agreement between the SLF and HTS.
HTS didn’t officially respond to Soufan’s offer, but one of HTS’s religious scholars “Abu al-Yakzan al-Masri” stressed on March 7 that the fight against the SLF will continue.
Syrian opposition activists viewed Soufan’s offer as a sign of weakness. The statement was released during the HTS advance in the western Aleppo countryside, which is the heartland of the SLF.
The ongoing “war of abolition’ between HTS and the SLF had erupted on February 20. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed that more than 132 HTS fighters and 91 SLF fighters had been killed in the conflict.