DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:40 A.M.) – On Monday evening, a vehicle loaded with ammunition blew up in Maarat Al-Numan, leading to the death of one person and inflicting injuries upon five non-combattants.
More photos of the incident:
Located on the M5-highway in southern Idlib, Maarat Al-Numan was also struck by another bombing exactly a week ago, targeting a checkpoint held by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).
Although no group has claimed responsibility yet, as usual with car bombings or assassination attempts across Idlib, the prime suspect is believed to be sleeper cells of the largely disbanded Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) ’13th Division’.
HTS launched a major crackdown against FSA groups in Maarat Al-Numan on June 11 despite facing widespread protests from the civilian population which for the most part favors the less hardline opposition groups.
Although HTS remains the most powerful group in Idlib province, the Al-Qaeda linked faction remains at odds with Ahrar Al-Sham and ISIS, purging both groups in recent weeks.