At least 60 fighters from Syria’s al-Qaeda branch, Jabhet Al-Nusra, were killed yesterday as a huge explosion rocked a mosque in Idlib’s Ariha. Dozens more were also wounded by the blast.
Pro-Nusra accounts said that an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up while crowds from Islamic fighters and locals were doing their Maghrib Prayers and preparing to break their Ramadan Fast at Salem Mosque in Ariha, located in the southern part of Idlib Province.
Senior al-Qaeda commanders, including the group’s Emir of Ariha, were reportedly killed in the deadly blast.
Most of Idlib Province in now under rebel control after Jaysh Al-Fateh, an alliance of anti-Assad hardline groups mostly made up of Jabhet Al-Nusra, managed to expel government troops from most of the province.
Islamic fighters took over Ariha in May after the Syrian Arab Army retreated to nearby posts.
In a related context, militants fighting under Jaysh Al-Fateh executed 8 civilians in the city of Idlib on accusations of ‘collaborating with the Syrian government’.
The provincial capital has fallen to Islamic fighters in 28th of March.
Local activists report major violations being committed by Islamic rebels in the city, including summary executions, looting of public properties, overtaxing the residents under the pretext of funding the revolution against president Bashar al-Assad.