Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Horas al-Din may be heading to a new military confrontation in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
According to several sources, a new incident on June 3 increased tensions between the two groups. HTS security forces reportedly arrested a member of Horas al-Din who was collecting Zakat [Islamic tax] from civilians. The terrorist claimed that the money will be used to fortify the frontline in northwestern Hama.
HTS held Horas al-Din’s tax-collector in a Sharia court in the city of Jisr al-Shughur. Horas al-Din responded by storming the court and freeing its member by force.
“The region is now witnessing a military alert, both sides are deploying military reinforcements, which warn of clashes between the two organizations,” the Rumaf Agency citied local sources as saying.
In the last few months, HTS and Horas al-Din were engaged in several incidents. However, non of them developed into a full-scale confrontation.
More recently, Horas al-Din took a more aggressive approach towards HTS. The group’s senior Sharia official, Sami al-Oraydi, released a video message in which he hinted against HTS’ growing cooperation with Turkey.
HTS and Horas al-Din are competing on the remaining resources in Greater Idlib. This competition will likely end with a new confrontation between the two terrorist groups.