Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) tightens the ranks to not lose weight in Idlib. The former Al-Nusra Front circulates a new regulation which prohibits leaving the group without permission and founding or joining others. In parallel, the arrests of the defectors continue
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) reacts to the jihadists’ defections from the group and attempts by rival militias to gain weight in Idlib. The leaders of the former al-Nusra Front have released a document with the new rules for all its members. Inside it is underlined that it is forbidden to leave the formation without permission and that, in any case, it is forbidden to form new ones or join others. The measure was issued after the arrest of Abu Malek al-Telli (aka Jamal Zeiniyah). This, an important religious, had recently abandoned HTS in disagreement on his new “vision”, less and less linked to its origins and today aimed above all to maintain leadership in the Syrian province, exploiting the weapon of nationalism. The man, who had joined the “enemies” of Ansar al-Din, is only the bottom of a list that has been growing faster and faster in recent times.
HTS unexpectedly approaches Turkey. There is a common goal with Ankara: to fight the Orthodox Qaedists. The former Al-Nusra Front wants to maintain leadership in the Syrian province and the new ally tries to secure the M4 from jihadist attacks
The new HTS course in Idlib has also led to an unexpected rapprochement with Turkey, with which a crisis had arisen in recent months. The former al-Nusra Front and Ankara, in fact, have a common goal: to eliminate the orthodox qaedists from the Syrian province. The first to weaken rivals and maintain leadership, including by resuming trade with other areas of the Middle Eastern country. The latter, as they want to keep the M4 safe from attacks by the jihadists. This to allow the passage of joint patrols with Russia. Especially after a Federation vehicle was recently hit by an IED explosion while passing on the highway. Moscow did not like the accident at all and gave Turkey an ultimatum: “resolve the situation immediately or we will do it ourselves”. Ankara, however, cannot allow to have external interference in its area of influence and, moreover, near the border.