Introduction

More than a month have passed since Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and Jabhat Tahrir Syria (JTS), an alliance of various factions including Ahrar Al-Sham, Suqor Al-Sham and Harakat Nouredine Zenky, agreed to a ceasefire. Nevertheless, the conflict in question has taken multiform, the first of which is fighting for dominance and control in the liberated areas and the second is manifested in a string of assassinations that have swept across Idlib, which can be regarded as the violent aspect of this conflict. On the other hand, the fighting has so far caused a staggering number of civilian casualties, resulting in an extreme public outrage to the extent that the local civilians now consider the aforementioned parties as occupation forces and as authoritarian as the Assad forces.

The enemy brother’s war has been of strategic benefits to the Assad regime. The fighting in Idlib province has portrayed anti-Assad factions as a bunch of bloodthirsty extremists who know nothing but spilling of blood, which is one of the main aspects of the regime propaganda machine that has long been used to cover up and whitewash the heinous and appalling massacres committed by Assad against the Syrian people in different parts of Syria.

HTS dominance over other factions in Idlib was the leading cause that led to the break out of the battles against JTS. HTS had expelled FSA factions (Syria Revolution Front) and some Islamists such as Ahrar Al-Sham from large swaths of lands in Idlib stretching from the countryside of Jisr Ash Shughur to the south and western Idlib to the west.

Nouredine Zenky merged with Nusra Front and formed what is known today as HTS. However, the Zenky immediately broke its ties with the alliance because the major differences between leaders could not be compromised.

The HTS dominance in Idlib forced several factions such as Ahrar Al Sham and Suqor Al Sham to form an alliance with Nouedine Zenky under the banner ‘Jabhat Tahrir Syria’.

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