The Arabic-language al-Watan online reported that members of the Islamic al-Turkistan party clashed with the rival terrorists of Ansar Turkistan in the Abu al-Dhohour airbase in Southeastern Idlib for the first time.
The al-Watan quoted sources close to the warring sides as saying that differences over how to lead the war against the army caused the infighting between the Islamic al-Turkistan party and Ansar Turkistan.
It added that the army troops have deployed only 17 km away from the airbase from its Eastern direction.
Al-Watan went on to say that al-Turkistani party has recently joined the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board), participating in battle against the army men close to the village of al-Mastariheh.
Military sources said on Saturday that the army troops were in final stages of military-logistic preparations to kick off a large-scale anti-terrorism operation in Idlib province from different directions amid the government forces’ advances in Hama and Aleppo.
The sources said that the army put a large number of its elite force on alert in Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo to kick off the final phase of an imminent operation to capture the strategic Abu al-Dhohour airbase.
The sources said that the first phase of the army operation would end after purging Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo of terrorists.
The sources further added that the army was not expected to face much resistance in its operation in Idlib as rifts were recently widened among terrorist groups in the region.