On April 26, unknown gunmen assassinated “Abu al-Ward Kafr Battikh”, a military commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and his bodyguard north of the town of Maarrat al-Nu’man in the southern Idlib countryside, according to a report by the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi.
Few hours after the assassination of Abu al-Ward, a military commander of the Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) named “Abu Salim Binnish” was killed by unknown gunmen in Binnish town in the eastern Idlib countryside.
These assassinations came only a day after HTS and the SLF reached a “permanent ceasefire” designed to stop the so-called “war of abolition” between the two groups which had lasted for more than two months. Due to this, Syrian opposition activists believe the assassinations are an attempt by a third side to sabotage the ceasefire agreement.
HTS and the SLF have not commented on the assassinations yet. However, some HTS-linked sources accused the SLF of assassinating Abu al-Ward, which could lead to an new round of escalation between HTS and the SLF.
According to local observers, the new ceasefire may not last long due to these incidents. It should be noted that the previous ceasefires had failed because of similar reasons.