BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:13 P.M.) – Following the assassination of a high-ranking commander belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) by fighters of the Free Syrian Army-linked Harakat Noor al-Din al-Zenki group in northwest Syria, authorities from the former-mentioned faction have now called for a war of revenge.
During the late hours of Thursday night, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham commander Abu Ayman al-Masri (an Egyptian national) and his wife were gunned-down by Noor al-Din al-Zenki militants at a checkpoint in western Aleppo province (pictures here).
Since then, leading figures within Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham have called for vengeance against Noor al-Din al-Zenki, threatening the rival militant group with all-out war.
Early reports state that Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham has started moving convoys of troops and heavy equipment from Idlib’s countryside towards Noor al-Din al-Zenki positions and bases in west Aleppo.
Even prior to Abu Ayman al-Masri’s assassination of Thursday night, tensions between Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham and Noor al-Din al-Zenki had been on the rise for at least two weeks.
This latest escalation appears to almost guarantee that another inter-rebel war will erupt across northwest Syria soon – the previous one taking place in mid-2017.