Idlib - Varous opposition security forces raided a large ISIS cell located in the western part of Idlib province. After a lot of IED attacks, suicide bombings and other criminal activities in the region, factions started cracking down on dissidents and positions of radical militants in order to stop the violence.
A group of nine suspected ISIS sympathisants were arrested, one detonated himself at the scene, causing no injuries. The security forces found a carbomb at the position, several motorcyles, which were used by the militants, and seized several explosives and weapons.
On June 28th , major opposition group ''Ahrar al Sham'' raided a ''Liwa al Aqsa'' position, a ISIS affiliated group, near Maarat al-Numan, with casualties on both sides. In another instance, HTS security busted a drug smuggling ring in Aleppo province.
It is likely that the intensified crackdown on criminal gangs and ISIS-linked terrorists in the province is because of the calm in opposition-held areas as effect of the Astana talks ceasefire. The armed groups have less fighters deployed and can focus more on administering and governing, which includes security tasks. With the slow defeat of ISIS, it appears that many sympathisers have somehow managed to slip back into greater Idlib; many ISIS fighters are indeed former members of the opposition who were forced into eastern Syria when rebels defeated ISIS in northwestern Syria. Many Islamist and FSA figures and leaders in greater Idlib are very opposed to the presence of these returnees and will likely deal heavily with them. It is expected that crackdowns and raids on suspected ISIS-linked cells will continue in the future.