DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:45 P.M.) – On Sunday evening, a car bomb hit a Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) checkpoint in downtown Maarat Al-Numan, a strategic town on Idlib’s M5-highway which witnessed a major crackdown on rival rebel groups last month.
A brand new picture of from the site of impact:
Although Al-Masdar News was unable to confirm the exact HTS death toll, several people were said to have been killed in the bombing. In response to the attack, HTS began patrolling the town intensively in the evening hours, looking for the responsible assailants.
This news comes just hours after the Al-Qaeda linked group said it had targeted ISIS sleeper cells across the northwestern province. However, the car bombing may have been carried out by the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) ‘Division 13’ which was the primary rebel faction purged by HTS last month. At the time, the FSA group vowed retalition in an online bulletin.
Idlib has been plagued by infighting since 2016. At the moment, Turkey and HTS are indirectly fighting for power as their proxies have begun targeting each other.