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Idlib jihadist group uses Syria cease-fire to restructure, expand

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has announced the formation of three new brigades in what seems to be preparations for an upcoming battle in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.
Fighters from the former al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) drive through the village of Hamameyat on the border between Hama and Idlib provinces on July 11, 2019. - Regime and jihadist-led forces were locked in clashes on the edge of the opposition bastion in northwest Syria on July 11, after a jihadist-led advance that killed dozens of fighters overnight. Russian and regime aircraft have ramped up their deadly bombardment of the Idlib region -- administered by HTS, and home to some three
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ALEPPO, Syria — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has been restructuring its ranks in northwestern Syria's Idlib, taking advantage of the cessation of hostilities and the relative calm that followed the cease-fire agreement signed between Russia and Turkey March 5.

HTS was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the UN Security Council in 2018 and international sanctions were imposed on the group.

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