On April 27, an IED targeted an armored pickup truck was carrying radical Saudi cleric Abdullah al-Muhaysini near the town of Saraqib in the southwestern Idlib countryside, according to several Syrian oppositions sources.
Minutes after the failed assassination attempt, al-Muhaysini confirmed through his official Telegram channel that he had not been injured in the IED attack. The Saudi cleric also revealed that he had been targeted when he was on his way back from a reconciliation meeting among several armed groups.
Al-Muhaysini, who is well linked to al-Qaeda, had survived several attacks since 2015, including two airstrikes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Force.
The Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported that Idlib governorate had witnessed more than 20 assassinations over the last 24 hours. Two commanders of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) were among the the casualties of these attacks.
The assassination wave began only one day after HTS and the SLF had reached a “permanent ceasefire,” which suggests that the attackers are aimed at sabotaging the new agreement. According to Syrian opposition sources, ISIS is the prime suspect.
HTS and several other armed groups in Idlib governorate have stepped up their security measures on their checkpoints in Idlib to counter these attacks. However, local observers doubt that the assassinations will stop as they appear to be well planned.