A street market in the rebel-held city of Idlib, June 2017.
Ammar Abdullah / Reuters

On September 13, Syria’s most powerful jihadist group split. Not the badly degraded Islamic State (ISIS)—which the U.S. military believes is down to around 10,000 fighters in its crumbling eastern Syrian strongholds—but Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which dominates northwestern Syria’s Idlib region.

Tahrir al-Sham has recently lost some of its most important leaders, leaving the group’s hold on power weaker than before. Meanwhile Ankara-backed Syrian rebels are lining up behind a plan to sideline the group, just as Turkish officials sit down with Iran and Russia in Astana to talk about solving Idlib’s jihadist problem. 

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