More than 500 terrorists have been killed, many of them summarily executed, after an infighting spread among the ranks of militant groups in Syria's Idlib province, pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reports.
The infighting broke out on Tuesday (January 1st 2019) after al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) occupied vast territories held by Turkish-backed NLF militants in the Aleppo province.
The HTS reportedly initiated the fighting after NLF-affiliated Nour al-Din al-Zenki militants killed five of members of the Takfiri group.
Clashes have now spread to Idlib and Hama provinces amid reports that other rival militant factions, including the so-called Free Syrian Army which is backed by Turkey, are joining the fighting.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), known to be sympathetic to militant groups in Syria, confirmed the report but put the death toll at around 100.
Al-Mayadeen attributed the high death toll to ambushes and prisoner executions by the warring sides. It said nearly 20 civilians, including three children, have also been killed in the skirmishes.
Videos have emerged showing some of the rival terrorist groups' casualties and captives.