13 ISIS Fighters Reported Killed by Islamist Rivals in Northern Syria

Islamists say 13 killed, 18 arrested

As ISIS tries to reassert itself in Syria they just as often run afoul of rebels as government forces. On Sunday, in the northernmost Idlib Province, that meant a fight with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly the Nusra Front, which is to say al-Qaeda.

Sunday’s fighting near Harim killed at least 13 people, who HTS identified as ISIS militants. They also reported 18 “wanted people” have been captured in the process, and that they are hoping to capture yet more going forward.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been at odds for many years. ISIS got its start as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and tried to absorb the Nusra Front, which was al-Qaeda in Syria. A good chunk of Nusra switched to ISIS at the time, and they’ve been at each others’ throats ever since.

ISIS doesn’t currently control any real territory, but has been trying to reassert out of the deserts where their forces are based. The HTS control only a slim part of northern Idlib, and have been fighting with the military over the rest of the province. HTS officially cut ties with al-Qaeda in 2016, but this was done rather cynically at the behest of al-Qaeda to try to curry Western sympathy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.