Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has defeated the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and imposed its control of all of its positions in the western Aleppo countryside including the town of Angara, which is considered the stronghold of the Turkish-backed group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on January 4.
“During the last few hours, HTS was able to impose its control of Qabtan al-Jabal, Hour, Bsartun, al-Mansoura, Qailun, Maarrat al-Artiq, Arab Fatum, al-Hota and Angara and other areas in the western Aleppo countryside,” the SOHR’s report reads.
The UK-based monitoring group said that the remaining fighters and commanders of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement are currently negotiating an agreement that would allow them to withdraw to the Turkish-occupied area of Afrin. Other opposition sources said that the agreement will ensure the end of the al-Zenki Movement.
HTS launched its attack on the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement at the beginning of January after accusing the group of assassinating four of its fighters. The Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) and the Syrian National Army (SNA) both supported the al-Zenki Movement. However, HTS had the upper had from the beginning.
According to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV, more than 200 militants and 20 civilians were killed during the battle between HTS and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement.
After defeating on the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, HTS will likely focus on other Turkish-backed groups in the opposition-held part of northern Syria. The radical group, which was the main branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, is clearly working to expand its influence by neutralizing these factions one after the other while Turkey continue to sit on the side and watch.
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