On July 6, ISIS cells shoot and killed three fighters of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) near the town of Saraqib in the southeastern Idlib countryside, according to ISIS-linked news agency Amaq. Syrian opposition sources confirmed ISIS’ claims and said that the terrorist group’s cells attacked a checkpoint of HTS near the town.
Amaq also announced that ISIS cells targeted a vehicle carrying fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with an IED near the village of Hezreh in the northern Idlib countryside. Four FSA fighters were reportedly injured as a result of the attack.
Last month, HTS launched a security operation against ISIS cells in the governorate of Idlib. Back then, the former branch of al-Qaeda claimed that it managed to eliminate most of the terrorist group’s cells. However, the recent attacks confirm that ISIS’ influence is still strong in the governorate.
This is the first time Amaq releases reports about the operations of ISIS cells in Idlib, despite that the terrorist group has carried out dozens of similar attacks there since the beginning of this year. This indicates that ISIS is now openly planning to expand its influence in Idlib.