IDLIB, Syria — A crisis within Ahrar al-Sham erupted on Oct. 20 when the movement’s Shura Council, led by Jaber Ali Pasha, dismissed the head of the movement’s military wing, Capt. Anad Darwish, nicknamed Abu al-Mundhir, and his deputy Abu Suhaib.
The dismissal followed a group of the movement’s military leaders calling for reinstating the former leader of Ahrar al-Sham, Hassan Soufan. Soufan, who was dismissed in 2019, is known for being very close to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a UN- and US-designated terrorist organization and the dominant outfit in Idlib. Ahrar al-Sham's leadership feared he would make the movement part of HTS.