Ri­val groups clash in Syria’s rebel-packed Idlib

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NATION | WORLD -

Clashes have bro­ken out in north­west­ern Syria be­tween two of the most pow­er­ful in­sur­gent groups there rais­ing fears of wide­spread vi­o­lence in the rebel-held prov­ince of Idlib, the groups and an op­po­si­tion mon­i­tor said Satur­day.

The fight­ing be­tween the con­ser­va­tive Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-linked Hay’at Tahrir al Sham — Ara­bic for Le­vant Lib­er­a­tion Com­mit­tee — that is also known as HTS, are the first se­ri­ous acts of vi­o­lence since both sides reached a truce in Fe­bru­ary. Wider clashes be­tween the two for­mer al­lies could af­fect their fight against Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s forces who have been gain­ing ground over the past year un­der the cover of Rus­sian airstrikes.

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