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The arrest, this week, of several prominent militants in Syria by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham is a third and possibly final chapter in the group's coup against its mother organization Al-Qaeda, one that was recognized in a harsh statement by the latter's leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.In August 2016, Nusra was dissolved when the group seceded from its parent organization Al-Qaeda and rebranded under the name Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.Atlantic Council nonresident fellow, Haid Haid, counted over 35 assassinations against the organization's members since September.Idlib sources who spoke to the author said that many of the attacks could be the result of an internal campaign against the organization's hard-liners and foreign jihadi wing, less open to the more pragmatic agenda adopted by the organization.It was nonetheless to be expected in light of the recent jihadi divisions in Syria confirmed by a recent video by Al-Qaeda leader Zawahri.Golani's move allows him as well to inflict a pre-emptive strike against a possible coup by Al-Qaeda members while hindering any attempt by the JN old guard to establish an Al-Qaeda affiliate on Syrian soil.
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