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HTS and Ahrar al-Sham agree to resume Ahrar al-Sham activities in western Hama

Editing: Amena Riyad |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2019/01/19 19:47

Hama - SMART

On Saturday, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement agreed to resume the Ahrar al-Sham's activities in the al-Ghan Plain in western Hama, Central Syria.

The HTS is an Islamist opposition faction previously known as the al-Nusra Front, consisting of fighting groups including the Haqq Brigade, Jabhat Ansar al-Din, and Jaysh al-Sunnah.

A commander of the Ahrar al-Sham of the National Liberation Front (NLF) reported to SMART that the agreement will let the Ahrar al-Sham resume its operations against the Syrian government forces in the al-Ghab Plain area, which will remain under the control of the Salvation Government, which operates in HTS-controlled areas.

The NLF is an opposition group formed by the two Sunni Islamist groups Ahrar al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement. The HTS is the main rival of the NLF in Northwestern Syria.

A military source from the HTS stated that the agreement allowed the Ahrar al-Sham to resume its activities in one base in the al-Ghab Plain. The Ahrar al-Sham members will work outside al-Ghab for one and a half month and then the central operation room will manage the fighters' future deployment.  

The agreement also included giving the Ahrar al-Sham fighters a 10-day period to hand over their medium weapons to the general arming directorate of the Ahrar al-Sham under penalty, according to the source.

On Jan. 9, 2019, the HTS and the Ahrar al-Sham agreed on ending the infighting between them and handing over the Ahrar al-Sham's medium and heavy weapons to the HTS in the areas of al-Ghab Plain and Shahshabo Mountain.

The measures followed clashes that lasted for days between the HTS and Ahrar al-Sham in the governorates of Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama in Central and Northern Syria. The clashes ended by the HTS gaining control of Ahrar al-Sham areas and transferring the control of the areas to the Salvation Government.