A growing rift between Ahrar ash-Sham and the Islamic state of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) escalated Tuesday in a dispute involving a wanted person in the town of Maskana.
The escalation began when ISIS arrested a man ahead of his summons to face the court of the Shariah authority in the town, 90 kilometers east of Aleppo.
A delegation from the Musab bin Omar brigade, affiliated with Ahrar al-Sham arranged to meet with the ISIS emir to make arrangements to take the man to court.
The emir and his deputy declined to meet the delegation, accusing them instead of attempting to besiege the ISIS headquarters.
After several hours, the ISIS faction sent an armed patrol to kidnap the head of the delegation, so the men of the court and the members of the brigade intervened.
Shortly afterwards another emir from a different ISIS faction refused to stop at a checkpoint manned by Ahrar al-Sham guards after warning shots were fired. When the checkpoint guard approached the car, he was then kidnapped.
The Ahrar al-Sham media office issued a statement detailing the incident, saying the brigade sent another delegation of jihadists, including the emir of the brigade and its military commander to resolve the issue with the ISIS faction, but said that they have since all been arrested.
It said the assailants attacked another checkpoint using heavy weapons and taking control of it by force, resulting in the deaths of three brothers from Ahrar al-Sham.
“As part of the mess created by these violent acts, our brother Jihadists had to raise the alert, to ensure the protection of checkpoints and headquarters, especially after another checkpoint was attacked…by an ISIS faction. The attack resulted in the killing of several people and the capture of others,” the statement said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer