Syrian opposition sources have revealed that contacts are taking place between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions in north Syria to hand over the security of some areas to HTS. The rumored deal would involve the Turkish-backed FSA tampering down some of its rhetoric against HTS in exchange for allowing the extremist group to oversee security in certain areas. It's unclear if the FSA would maintain forces in the areas in which the HTS takes control of.
Brig. Gen. Ahmad Rahal, who defected from the Syrian regime, tweeted Feb. 19, “HTS emirs have repeatedly visited the Olive Branch areas to work out their relations with FSA leaders amid reports whereby the FSA has decided to prevent any media attacks against HTS leaders. There are also talks that the security of all liberated areas will be handed over to HTS after the failure of the military, security and judicial leadership there.”