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How Hayat Tahrir al-Sham rival operates in northern Syria

Al-Monitor interviewed the spokesman of the National Liberation Front, which includes several armed opposition factions in northern Idlib, to find out its goals and plans for the future.

IDLIB, Syria — An alliance of opposition factions under the umbrella of the National Liberation Front (NLF) marked a shift in the balance of power in Idlib Aug. 1, as it rose as a rival to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that controlled Idlib before the NFL emerged.

Apart from other small armed factions, the NLF and HTS represent the main opposition in Idlib. Each party has its own road checkpoints and city entrances. HTS controls the Turkish-Syrian borders reaching Idlib, while the NLF is deployed in eastern and southern Idlib.

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