World roundup: November 1 2021
Stories from Syria, Ethiopia, Brazil, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Al-Monitor’s Khaled al-Khateb says that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is on the warpath in northwestern Syria:
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, is trying to seize the last pockets of opposing jihadist organizations in the Jabal al-Turkman area, east of Latakia province, and in the western part of Idlib. It launched a large-scale military operation against these groups on Oct. 25.
“The battle is still going on," an HTS military official, who declined to be named, told Al-Monitor. Since Oct. 25, he said, HTS has taken control of Tal al-Mashafa, Tal al-Abraj, Tal Abu Aref and Salour village.
The military operation mainly targets the Jundallah group, he said, in addition to other jihadist groups and new recruits, including former Islamic State members. "We found coins, which [IS] self-declared caliphate issued, in the military barracks and positions they forcibly withdrew from,” he said.
The nature of Jundallah’s relationship with IS isn’t entirely clear but there does appear to be a relationship. The group also seems to be on cordial terms with Hurras al-Din, an al-Qaeda affiliated group with which HTS is also frequently at odds.
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