By Eray Fox
On 28th of July, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the now-rebranded former al-Qaeda affiliate group, arrested two commanders belonging to Jaish al Nukhba, a opposition group operating in Hama and Idlib provinces. This group also underwent several rebranding and re-shuffling efforts in the last year, seeing several undergroups leaving them.
Commander Wael al Ghabi was arrested in the town of Al Bara, while Alaa al Ghabi was arrested in the town of Maarat Herma. Both localities are situated in the southern countryside of Idlib province.
Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) released both commanders again on the 30th of July, 2017.
The reason of the kidnapping is uknown, but it is likely to be related to the major infighting between Ahrar al-Sham (AAS) and HTS, which lasted several days. The commanders were arrested during that period. Jaish al-Nokhba has been a target of HTS raids before, as they are one of the more "moderate" groups opearting in greater Idlib.