On October 5, the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), launched a surprise attack on the town of Kafr Halab in the western Aleppo countryside, which is controlled by the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL). According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), three civilians, including two children, were killed in the attack.
A security commander in HTS claimed that the radical group was carrying out an operation against supporters of the reconciliation process in Kafr Halab. However, local sources said that HTS’ security forces targeted personnel of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, one of the NFL’s groups.
Few hours later, the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported that HTS and the NFL have reached an agreement to end the clashes in Kafr Halab. Under the agreement, the NFL will release an HTS fighters who was captured in the town and hand over some of the locals who resisted HTS’ security forces.
Similar clashes broke out between HTS and the SLF in the town of Darat Izza last week. Back then, HTS’ security forces attempted to arrest several members of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement accusing them of carrying out several attacks inside the town.
Previously, Syrian pro-government activists warned that HTS will try to expand its influence within the opposition-held area in northwestern Syria the following the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement. Under the same agreement, Turkey and its proxies have to neutralize HTS as soon as possible.