On September 15, Jaysh Usud al-Islam militant group announced its defection from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
In an official statement, Jaysh Usud al-Islam accused HTS of “disrespecting the blood of Muslims and the Mujahedeen”. Moreover, Jaysh Usud al-Islam accused HTS of conspiring to attack other Islamic armed group, in a clear hint to the Ahrar al-Sham Movement.
Jaysh Usud al-Islam also said that HTS disrespected religious scholars, and this proves that the HTS leaks was behind the Jaysh Usud al-Islam decision to leave HTS.
Meanwhile, another Saudi religious scholar of HTS was assassinated in Idlib governorate. Suraqah al-Maki was targeted by unknown gunmen inside Idlib city on September 15.
Al-Maki is the second Saudi HTS scholar assassinated during this week. On September 12, Abu Mohamad al-Jazzrawi was assassinated by unknown gunmen in Saraqib town in the eastern Idlib countryside.
HTS has not commented on the assassination so far. This allowed some Syrian opposition activists to suggest that HTS itself could be behind the assassination. Other activists believe that these assassinations were organized by the anti-HTS groups in Idlib governorate on orders from foreign backers like Qatar or Turkey.
Idlib governorate next battle might not be between the Islamic groups in the governorate and the pro-government forces, but between the Islamic groups themselves. The new de-escalation agreement in Idlib governorate increases the chance that Idlib might witness another “rebel civil war” soon.