Hayat Tahrir al-Sham claims credit for the death of Iraqi Islamic State leader’s brother
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- Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, commonly referred to as Tahrir al-Sham and abbreviated...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham claimed to have killed a top Islamic State official of Iraqi origin in northwest Syria.
HTS announced the killing of Yusuf Numan “Abul Hareth” in an operation in western Idlib on Saturday, naming him as the brother of another senior IS official killed by a US airstrike in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor earlier this year.
In May the United States killed Moatez Numan Abdul-Latif al-Jabouri, or Hajj Taysir, a senior Iraqi IS governor who once oversaw the jihadist group’s efforts to obtain and develop chemical weapons, according to the US State Department.
The jihadi opposition enclave became a desired destination for IS figures fleeing the Baghouz pocket as the US-led military coalition and Kurdish-led forces encircled the so-called caliphate near Syria’s border with Iraq last March.
Long hostile to IS, at least on the surface, HTS has also sought to undermine other jihadist factions in the province, of which it seized control from the Nour al-Din al-Zinki movement in January 2019.
Earlier this summer, a number of jihadi groups formed the Fathbuto operations room, leading HTS to crack down on rival organizations and increase arrests of critics.
The power play was widely seen as beneficial to Turkey, which maintains soldiers in Idlib province and has agreed with Russia to clear extremist factions from the area and open the M4 highway.
Though the United States and Russia consider HTS a terrorist organization, Turkey appears willing to tolerate the group as long as it does not undermine its agreement with Russia. Meanwhile, US drone strikes continue to pick off alleged al-Qaeda officials affiliated with HTS’ more extreme splinter group, Huras al-Din.
Source: Al Monitor