Early on August 8, two militants were assassinated by unidentified gunmen in the town of Tell Adeh in the northern part of Greater Idlib.
The militants, Abdul Rahman al-Ghaziz Kabi and Ali Muhammad Ibrahim al-Stifi, were shot and killed in Tell Adeh’s town center. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one of the slain militants was a member of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
Local sources claimed that the two militants were killed as a result of a personal disagreement between two prominent families in Tell Adeh.
Nevertheless, opposition activists said that HTS itself had orchestrated the assassination of the two militants for no clear reason. According to the activists, Qutaiba al-Barsha, a radical gang leader in Tell Adeh, may have carried out the assassination on behalf of HTS.
Last month, clashes were reported between HTS forces and al-Barsha’s gang in Tell Adeh with some sources even claiming that he was arrested by the group. This was apparently untrue. Opposition activists allege that al-Barsha is secretly working for the group’s notorious security forces.
HTS is now working to get rid from anyone who poses any threat to its influence in Greater Idlib. The group is trying to turn the region into a de-facto state.
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