HTS vehicle fires on Islamic State militants near the village of Umm Mayal in eastern Hama province
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a jihadist conglomerate, released photos yesterday showing the battles between its forces and the Islamic State in Syria’s Hama province.
The photos show HTS fighters from its “Elite Forces” wing battling the Islamic State near the village of Umm Mayal and Talayhan in Hama’s eastern countryside. Fighters are seen progressing on the battlefield, using heavy machine guns on technicals and engaging in close to mid-range combat. Several photos show dead Islamic State fighters scattered around the small village.
At the same time, HTS also claimed to have dismantled an Islamic State IED and explosive cache inside HTS’ stronghold of Idlib province. The Islamic State, in turn, conducted a suicide bombing on HTS in Armanaz, Idlib.
The battles between the two jihadist forces flared up again earlier this week when the Islamic State launched its “Abu Muhammad al Adnani” campaign, which also focuses on regime, Russian, and Iranian forces in central Syria. Just days earlier, HTS launched its own offensive on regime forces in Hama, taking over the town of Abu Dali.
[For more on the fighting between the Islamic State and HTS, see FDD’s Long War Journal report: Islamic State attacks rival jihadists in Hama province.]
Photos from HTS showing the fighting:
Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.