Two major armed opposition groups active in Northern Syria, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and Jabhat Tahrir Souria (JTS) have exchanged accusations over the tensions in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
According to a statement published by JTS, HTS leadership has sabotaged the negotiations between the two groups, choosing instead to attack JTS positions in West Aleppo.
This claim was confirmed by local sources, which have previously reported that HTS was amassing forces to laucnh an offensive against JTS in Atareb city 30 kilometers west of Aleppo.
In turn, HTS has accused its rival of making “inappropriate demands” during the negotiations, including the release of its commander Abu Azzam Saraqib, who had been detained over an issue not connected to the current conflict.
As the two groups exchanged accusations, clashes again erupted in West Aleppo. HTS militants shelled JTS positions in the villages of Blanta and Mkelbis with IRAM ‘Elephant’ rockets and heavy artillery, injuring several JTS fighters and civilians as well.
Meanwhile, JTS artillery units fired back at HTS positions located in al-Ghabata village. It was reported that JTS was able to repel HTS attack near Blanta village damaging a tank and 57-mm gun of the terrorists.
The conflict between the two groups has begun immediately after creation of JTS, an alliance between Ahrar al-Sham and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zanki. During the clashes which erupted, HTS has suffered several defeats in Hama and Idlib provinces, but later managed to recapture some areas in Aleppo.