On August 31, the General Security Agency of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, announced that it had uncovered a cell of ISIS and arrested its four members.
In a statement, HTS’ security wing said that the cell’s members were arrested during a raid on their hideout in the town of Jisr al-Shughur in the western countryside of Idlib.
Assault rifles, handguns, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, communication devices and improvised explosive devices were seized during the raid.
Jihadi sources in Greater Idlib casted doubt on HTS’ claims. The sources said that the cell is not affiliated with ISIS. The cell’s members were in fact former fighters of HTS and al-Qaeda’s Horas al-Din. The four terrorists were reportedly operating on their own.
Last year, HTS de-facto neutralized Horas al-Din after a series of security operations and arrests in Greater Idlib. HTS is now chasing the remaining members of the group.
HTS has been working to promote itself in the West as an “anti-terrorism force” for a few years now. The terrorist group claims to be fighting ISIS in Greater Idlib, while denying its historical ties to al-Qaeda and ISIS itself.
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