NEW - #HTS has arrested its former senior commander Jamal Hassan Zayniya (aka Abu Malik al-Talli) - weeks after his defection & days after his faction Liwa al-Muqatileen al-Ansar helped establish an #AlQaeda-leaning operations room in #Idlib.
#pt: #HTS's arrest of al-Talli comes just days after it also arrested Sirajideen Makhtarov (aka Abu Saloh al-Uzbeki) after his defection to Jabhat Ansar al-Din - a group that also joined the #AlQaeda-leaning "Stand Firm" ops room on June 12.

These are not insignificant arrests.
#pt: In previous years, #HTS (& #JFS/ #Nusra before it) developed a reputation for suppressing moderate rivals -- that behavior is now gradually shifting to controlling ultra-jihadist factions. No meaningful military confrontation [yet], but the tensions are being ratcheted up.
#pt: Rumors continue amid the #AlQaeda camp that some precision U.S. drone strikes on the likes of Huras al-Din have been the work of #HTS intelligence leaks to #MIT (& then to the #CIA). Whether such rumors are true is almost irrelevant -- their mere existence speaks volumes.
#pt: As regime-opposition/ #HTS tensions slowly tick-up in #Idlib, the stakes are higher than ever before -- particularly for #HTS.

Its arrest of notable defectors to the #AlQaeda camp are aimed both at deterring AQ from spoiling ceasefires but also at building trust w. #Turkey.
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