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Free Syrian Army defends areas of influence against IS, HTS cells

The internal fighting among FSA factions and the ambitions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to expand its control in the northwest of Syria did not prevent the Turkish-backed FSA factions from continuing their security operations to crack down on Islamic State cells in the countryside of Aleppo.
Members of the Free Syrian Army wave the flag of the Syrian opposition as they travel in a truck through the town of Hazano, in Idlib's northern countryside, as reinforcements are deployed from Aleppo's northern countryside to Idlib's countryside to counter an ongoing pro-regime offensive, Syria, Feb. 5, 2020.

ALEPPO, Syria — The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) continues to crack down on Islamic State (IS) cells in Aleppo countryside in northwestern Syria, where tension and security chaos have flared in the past weeks due to the infighting between several factions and Hayat Tahror al-Sham’s (HTS) incursion into Afrin before quickly withdrawing.

HTS yields great influence in Idlib and does not hide its ambitions to expand at the expense of the FSA in Aleppo countryside.

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