Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) security forces launched a large-scale operation against ISIS cells in the towns of Sarmin and Mseibin in the southeastern Idlib countryside on March 17, according to the group’s news network Iba’a.
Sources close to HTS said that the operation is aimed at capturing dozens of ISIS members and commanders, who escaped from the group’s prison earlier this week.
In the course of the operation, an ISIS commander blew himself up after being besieged by HTS security forces. Iba’a said that the explosion killed the terrorist commander and injured his son. The identity of the commander is yet to be revealed.
In the last few weeks, dozens of HTS personnel were killed in attacks by ISIS cells. In return, HTS security forces launched several operations against operatives of the terrorist group and anyone who sympathy with it.
Despite these operations, the ISIS influence inside Idlib remain strong. Local observers believe that this situation will not change anytime soon, as ISIS is feeding from the same radical ideology as HTS, that’s thriving in Idlib.