Thursday, July 13, 2017

Suicide bomber kills 12 former al-Qaeda affiliate militants in Syria

Blast ripped through textile factory in Idlib which members of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham had been using as their quarters
Idlib province in Syria, which borders Turkey, has long witnessed infighting between religious militias vying for power (Reuters)

Wednesday 12 July 2017
A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of former al-Qaeda affiliated militants near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said.
They said the blast ripped through a textile factory that members of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose backbone is the former Nusra Front, had been using as their quarters. At least 12 were killed, one rebel source said.
In recent days, the alliance had been waging a major sweep to round up ultra-hardline Islamic State (IS) group sleeper cells in Idlib province. They say they have arrested at least 100 people, including those the group says are senior operatives blamed for a string of recent assassination and blasts in the province.
Idlib province is dominated mainly by religious militant cells, although there is some presence of the moderate Western-vetted Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups.
The province, which borders Turkey, has long witnessed infighting between the main religious militias vying for power.
Although opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule, insurgents are riven by deep divisions on ideology and rivalry that erupts occasionally in deadly clashes.