Several fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) were injured when a group of Horas al-Din targeted a vehicle that was transporting them in the southeastern Idlib countryside on February 7.
The incident led to the resumption of tensions between HTS and Horas al-Din. It’s especially interesting that it came only several days after the leaders of both groups approved a 10-point reconciliation agreement. The agreement prevents Horas al-Din from doing anything that could “weaken HTS.”
Despite the existing tension, the two groups announced on February 8 that a Sharia [religious] court headed by radical scholar Abu Mohamad Wahub will investigate the incident. Horas al-Din also promised to hand over the attack perpetrators.
Horas al-Din is considered the biggest branch of al-Qaeda in Syria now. This may explain why it is taking a stricter stand against HTS, that is working to rebrand itself as a “moderate group.”
A recent report by Sputnik revealed that Turkey is now working to turn HTS into a kind of political party, using the example of Lebanese Hezbollah. A source in the Syrian opposition told the Russian news agency that Ankara is even trying to integrate the radical group within the National Syrian Army (NSA).
HTS’ leadership is clearly trying to balance between its links to al-Qaeda and relations with Turkey in order to maintain power in northwestern Syria.
- Turkey Is Working To Turn Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Into Political Group ‘Like Hezbollah In Lebanon’ – Report