The opposition-held part of the western Aleppo countryside is reportedly witnessing increasing tension between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Din Front.
Opposition activists said that the tension erupted when HTS’ security forces stormed a base of the Ansar al-Din Front in western Aleppo and assaulted the group’s military commander in the region Abu al-Walid al-Shami.
The real cause of the incident remains unclear. However, some sources claimed that HTS accused al-Shami and other commanders in the Ansar al-Din Front of looting properties of a charity organization working in the Cement housing complex.
The Ansar al-Din Front is a member of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Wa Harid al-Muminin operations room. HTS controls most of the opposition-held part of western Aleppo. However, it allows the operations room’s members to establish bases in the region.
Despite the tension between HTS and the Ansar al-Din Front, the situation in western Aleppo remains calm. The situation may escalated rapidly as it has been in previous internal conflicts in Greater Idlib.