Ahrar al-Sham, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham Agree to End Tensions in Idleb

Key Islamist groups secure deal to end the months-long friction in the rebel-held province, opposition outlet reports

Ahrar al-Sham and Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham reached a deal to end a week of tensions that raised fears of widespread violence in the rebel-held province of Idleb, a press officer from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group told Zaman al-Wasl.

Imad al-Din Mujahed said both warring parties agreed to ease tensions and to halt fighting and media provocation by forming a committee to reconcile the friction.

Omar Khattab, a military spokesman for Ahrar al-Sham, said the situation is “calm” after the mobilization and deployment of troops from both Islamist groups.

On Saturday, the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham said Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham was sending reinforcements to the town of Saraqib and the Jabal Zawiya region in preparation for an attack.

The Ibaa News Agency of the Al-Qaeda-linked group accused Ahrar al-Sham of setting up checkpoints and detaining one of its commanders and his bodyguard, adding that Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham later removed the checkpoints by force, AP reported.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes late Friday were concentrated near the village of Tell Touqan.

The two rival groups clashed earlier this year before a truce was reached.

Idleb is one of the most important strongholds of rebels, including jihadist factions, who seek to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose air force, along with that of his ally Russia, has been heavily bombarding rebels there.

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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