HTS Accuses Assad Regime, ISIS of Collaborating in Hama Assault

Islamic State militants carried out a surprise attack seizing over a dozen villages from Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, ISIS-linked media reports

The powerful Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) alliance issued a statement Monday accusing the Syrian government and the Islamic State (ISIS) group of coordinating an attack on the rebel group's strongholds in the central province of Hama.

The statement by the former Al-Qaeda-affiliated group followed a surprise attack by ISIS militants on its territory in the eastern countryside of the province.

ISIS' news agency Amaq said the Islamic State seized control of 13 villages in the area, adding that clashes are still underway.

HTS said it had lost four fighters in the assault, which it says was plotted and facilitated by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

The statement also accused ISIS of committing crimes against Sunnis, as well as killing mujahedeen fighters in Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and other opposition-held areas.

The HTS alliance on Friday launched a new major attack on regime forces in Hama after Damascus declared the central province free of ISIS.

The attack took place in the pro-regime village of Abu Dali, the main crossing to the rebel-held province of Idleb, which is largely controlled by HTS Islamists.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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