Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) arrested late on September 12 Abu al-Abd al-Ashda, a former prominent commander of the group, who exposed its corruption earlier this week.
Opposition activists said that units of the terrorist group’s security forces stormed al-Ashda’s hideout in the area of Rif al-Muhandiseen in the western Aleppo countryside in the late hours of the day. The former commander was reportedly assaulted and insulted during the arrest.
Al-Ashda released a video message three days ago exposing the corruption of HTS leadership and their obsession with power. The former commander also revealed that the group had ignored warnings of a nearing Syrian military attack in the northern Hama countryside earlier this year.
According to many sources, al-Ashda was the general commander of HTS’ Umar ibn al-Khattab Army. The commander led several operations against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and even other opposition groups over the last two years.
Despite his services, HTS publicly announced a few days ago that its security forces are working to arrest al-Ashda in order to present him to a military court. The group had also arrested a media man for sharing al-Ashda’s message.
By arrested al-Ashda, HTS is sending a strong message to all of its members and civilians in Greater Idlib that it will not tolerate any criticism. This shows how the group solidified its influence in the region over the last two years.