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Terrorism

Rival alliances resume battle in Idlib, Aleppo

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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Two armed Tahrir al-Sham elements man a checkpoint in the city of Idlib. [Photo courtesy of Haisam al-Idlibi]

Fighting between Tahrir al-Sham and the newly formed Syrian Liberation Front has resumed in parts of rural Idlib and Aleppo after a truce of more than a week, an activist in the area said.

Nureddine al-Zinki and Ahrar al-Sham recently joined forces to form the Syrian Liberation Front, inviting other opposition groups to join. Rival Tahrir al-Sham is an extremist alliance dominated by the former al-Nusra Front (ANF).

Fierce fighting erupted between the two sides after a truce brokered by opposition factions not involved in the fighting between the two alliances broke down, activist Haisam al-Idlibi told Diyaruna.

The clashes were accompanied by mutual shelling that hit residential areas, particularly in the villages of Mkalbis and Blenta in western rural Aleppo, he said.

"Both sides have again been conducting raids and detentions, the most recent of which was a raid carried out by Tahrir al-Sham on the house of Ahmed Abazeid in the Idlib province town of Kafr Batikh," he said.

A clash broke out between the residents of the house and the alliance's fighters in which "Abazeid's sister was killed and his wife and sister-in-law were wounded", al-Idlibi said.

Tahrir al-Sham also has detained a large number of people in the Aleppo towns of Darat Izza and Anjara, he said.

Growing popular rejection

Al-Idlibi noted the growing popular rejection of Tahrir al-Sham and its so-called salvation government, with more than half the Atareb local council resigning after they became certain of the alliance's infiltration into the council.

The alliance was able to sway some council members into working for it, he said, "especially in regard to regulatory, financial and tax-related matters".

Tahrir al-Sham is trying to open new revenue streams to make up for losses in its smuggling operations and the severance of its financial support from abroad, he explained.

Al-Idlibi said high tension prevails in Atareb, rural Aleppo, where massive protests were staged a few days ago in the wake of the resignations.

During these protests, Tahrir al-Sham elements opened fire on civilians who approached one of the alliance's headquarters -- one of its largest in the area -- wounding a number of them, he said.

Tension also prevails in the town of Maarat al-Numan, which is almost totally besieged by Tahrir al-Sham, he said.

The town had announced it would have no association with the alliance, and refused to sanction any dealings between its institutions and those of the Tahrir al-Sham-affiliated salvation government.

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You’re only good for fighting each other. You’ve exposed yourselves and proved to the whole world that you aren’t qualified to lead a country like Syria. You’ve failed in everything, and you’ve even thwarted the Syrian revolution which is the revolution of the people. You thwarted it when you came from exiles hoping to take the throne of the Levant. Things were confused when you all started to wish for the throne. At that time, ambitions prompted you to fight and you forgot the millions of Syrians who saw all types of sufferings and pains while you were enjoying your stay at luxurious hotels in Turkey and Paris and taking part in conferences full of lies and attempts to thwart the revolution. The other side knew how to use you for their own interest and to make you a cause for thwarting the revolution and emptying it of meaning. Here you are, confused, your victories have disappeared and the land you liberated has been retaken. You now have no place to hide, and this is enough.

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Well said! May God bless you!

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