DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:30 P.M.) – Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) is becoming stronger than ever before, expanding its control over Idlib and browbeating all rival groups into submission.
One day after signing a new peace treaty with Ahrar Al-Sham, forcing it to leave the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing after capturing a dozen towns in rural Idlib, HTS has now managed to beef up its manpower.
On Saturday, three rebel groups agreed to merge with HTS and swear allegiance to its military chief, the Al-Qaeda associate Abu Mohammad al-Julani. The factions in mention are Usud Al-Islam, Khalid Ibn Walid and Usud Bani Umayya.
The deal was signed in Zardana, a town which has now been brought under HTS control: