In the early hours of March 24, six ISIS members blew themselves up when Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) attempted to capture them in the town of Banish in the eastern Idlib countryside, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The UK-based monitoring group said that HTS security forces launched an operation inside the town to arrest ISIS members and sympathizers. However, the group was met with fierce resistance from the terrorists and heavy clashes erupted.
“Hay’at used tanks, heavy machine guns and shoulder-held rockets … Several explosions were heard, later it became clear that they were a result of six members of ISIS blowing themselves up,” the SOHR’s report read.
The results of the clashes are yet to be known, as HTS has not released any statement on the matter so far. However, opposition activists confirmed that at least one child was killed by HTS security forces who opened fire at him on purpose.
During the last few months, Idlib witnessed several attacks by ISIS cells. HTS responded by intensifying its operations against the group’s supporters. However, ISIS’ influence in the governorate is still raising, likely due to the wide-spread of radical ideology under HTS’ rule.