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Uzbek fighters complicate makeover campaign by jihadi group in Idlib

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the dominant jihad group in Idlib, is seeking distance from the actions of Uzbek foreign fighters.
Jihadis of former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham block demonstrators from approaching the Bab al-Hawa crossing.

ALEPPO — Uzbek jihadis affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib have repeatedly attacked the positions of Syrian government forces on the Idlib fronts and killed a number of their elements.

HTS has yet to officially claim responsibility for these attacks, which raises many questions about the numbers and capabilities of these jihadis and the extent to which HTS controls their decisions and movements.

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