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Ceasefire deal sees jihadists take over Syria's Idlib: reports

AFP  |  Beirut 

The main jihadist alliance in Syria's region reached a deal on Thursday ending days of deadly fighting with rival rebels and extending its influence over the whole rebel enclave.

The agreement brings an immediate end to the fighting between (HTS), led by Al-Qaeda's former affiliate, and the rival Turkish-backed (NLF), according to the jihadists' propaganda website Ebaa.

"This morning, HTS and the NLF signed an agreement to put an end to ongoing fighting... and establish the control of the salvation government in all areas," Ebaa said.

The so-called "salvation government" is the administrative arm of HTS, which has been gaining ground inside Syria's last major rebel bastion in recent days.

Since September, has been shielded from a threatened government offensive by a precarious truce agreed between government ally and rebel backer

The for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said Thursday's deal saw the whole rebel enclave come under HTS administrative control.

Other jihadist factions -- such as the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras al-Deen group and the (TIP) -- are present in other areas of but are allied with HTS, said.

On Wednesday, a deal between HTS and rival rebel commanders saw the jihadist-led alliance take control of two parts of Idlib, and Jabal Shahshabo.

Last week, HTS seized dozens of villages from another NLF faction in the northeast of the enclave.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 16:20 IST