Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is still working to solidify its rule over the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
On July 8, the terrorist group reinforced its military wing with yet another brigade. The new brigade was named after Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, the founder and first caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate.
The Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan Brigade will be the eleventh main unit of HTS’ military wing. The other ten units are:
- The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade;
- The Omar Ibn al-Khattab Brigade;
- The Othman bin Affan Brigade;
- The Ali bin Abi Talib Brigade;
- The al-Zubair bin al-Awwam Brigade;
- The Abdul Rahman bin Auf Brigade;
- The Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah Brigade;
- The Saeed bin Zaid Brigade;
- The Talha bin Obaid Allah Brigade;
- The Saad bin Abi Waqas Brigade.
According to an internal HTS document leaked by the terrorist group’s supporters, the new brigade will be led by a previously unknown commander called “Abu Mohamad al-Umaui”.
HTS have been working to reorganize, develop and expand its military wing since being defeated by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies during the December 2019–March 2020 Greater Idlib battle. Recently, the group released a dramatic video promoting its forces as some modern, professional, organized army.
The terrorist group have been also working to eliminate any competition within Greater Idlib. Currently, the group is moving against Junud al-Sham, a small faction of Chechen and Lebanese militants led by the infamous Muslim Abu Walid al-Shishani.
Turkey is doing nothing to contain HTS. Ankara has been turning a blind eye to the terrorist group’s growing influence in Greater Idlib and its repeated provocations.
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