BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – A jihadist civil war is ongoing in the Idlib Governorate this week, as two of the strongest factions are in a struggle for power.
A new report from the Idlib countryside confirmed that violent clashes broke out yesterday afternoon between the Hurras Al-Deen and Ansar Al-Tawhid groups on the one hand, and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) on the other.
These clashes were heavily concentrated on the western outskirts of Idlib city, which has recently witnessed increased tensions between the jihadist groups over the last few days.
The reports indicated that the Hurras Al-Deen and Ansar Al-Tawhid groups brought a large number of reinforcements to western Idlib in order to expel Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham from the administrative capital.
According to reports, the two jihadist groups, which are linked to Al-Qaeda, managed to capture the Idlib Central Prison, the Al-Kansarwah factory, and a number of housing blocs in the western side of the city.
The clashes that are still raging between the two parties and have resulted in the death and injury of dozens of their gunmen, coinciding with the continued attempt by Ansar Al-Tawhid and Hurras Al-Deen to capture the entire eastern sector of Idlib city.
Ansar Al-Tawhid, which was previously Jund Al-Aqsa, is a jihadist organization that has been involved in several battles over the years in northwestern Syria.
The group was founded by the famous terrorist, “Abu ‘Abdel-‘Aziz Al-Qatari”, a Palestinian national, before his subsequent assassination under mysterious circumstances.
The Hurras Al-Deen group consists of extremist fighters who announced in 2016 the establishment of their own organization to maintain their loyalty to the leader of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The Hurras Al-Deen group is led by a Shura Council dominated by Jordanian fighters who fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and the Caucasus, and they have a long history in the ranks of al-Qaeda.
Lastly, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) was formed in 2018 after the collapse of Jaysh Al-Fateh, a jihadist coalition comprised of several groups, including Jabhat Al-Nusra, HTS’ predecessor.