Early on March 7, unidentified gunmen attacked a checkpoint of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the gunmen targeted the checkpoint, which is located near the town of Darat Izza in western Aleppo, with machine guns.
“Clashes broke out between the two sides, as a result a member of HTS was killed and four others sustained varying wounds,” the London-based monitoring group said in a report. “The gunmen managed to escape.
There were no immediate claims for the attack, which may have been carried out by ISIS, a rival group of HTS or even government supporters.
This was the fourth such attack on HTS in Greater Idlib this year.
- On January 8, a checkpoint of HTS near Idlib city was attacked. Two militants of the group were killed.
- On January 16, a checkpoint of HTS also located near Idlib was attacked. No losses were reported.
- On January 24, a checkpoint of HTS located between Deir Hassan and Qah in northern Idlib was attacked. Two militant of the group were killed.
HTS has been working to solidify its rule over Greater Idlib for nearly three years. The group is, however, facing several challenges including the opposition of the locals.
Currently, the terrorist group is working with Turkish-backed militants to form a military council and a defense ministry in Greater Idlib. The plan is meant to legitimize the group and its puppet government.
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