At the early hours of January 4, a group of Turkish-backed militants defected and handed over their positions in the district of Jamiat al-Arman west of the city of Aleppo to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
According to the HTS-linked news network Iba’a, the radical group took took control of the district amid the evacuation of more than 50 fighters of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and the Ahrar al-Sham Movement along with their families. Both groups are a part of the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL).
After imposing control of Jamiat al-Arman, HTS resumed its advance in the opposition-held part of the western Aleppo countryside and captured the towns of Sinkhar, al-Hota and the 111th Regiment base from the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement. The radical group also entered the town of A’wejel after reaching an agreement with the local council there.
HTS launched its attack on the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement earlier this week. Later, the NFL intervened to support the Turkish-backed group, which lost most of its areas in western Aleppo. However, this move didn’t deter HTS.
Citing local sources, the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV said that more than 200 militants have been killed in the infighting so far. The number is expected to raise in the upcoming few days as the NFL is reportedly preparing to launch counter attacks against HTS.
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