Fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) captured the towns and villages of Bsartun, al-Ajil, al-Habit and al-Nabi Numa’an hills from the Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) on March 13 and 14, according to the pro-opposition news outlet al-Modon.
An unnamed official in the SLF told al-Modon that HTS had shelled these villages and towns with heavy artillery pieces and rockets, which had forced all the locals to flee their homes.
Sources linked to the SLF reported on March 14 that heavy clashes between the SLF and HTS had erupted around the village of al-Habit. The SLF apparently tried to recapture the village.
During the clashes, SLF members destroyed a HTS vehicle armed with a 23mm gun, according to the SLF-linked new agency Madad Press.
First clashes between HTS and the SLF erupted on February 19 for unclear reasons. Syrian opposition and pro-government activists viewed the conflict between the two groups as a struggle for influence in northern Syria.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SHOR), over 330 civilians and fighters of HTS and the SLF have been killed in this conflict so far. The number of casualties will likely raise in the upcoming days, as both HTS and the SLF are still willing to fight.