Russian armoured personnel carriers supporting Syrian government troops

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Chased out of their own homelands and targeted in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, experienced foreign jihadists embraced Syria’s war as their own starting around 2013, two years into the conflict.

Many joined the Islamic State group but others stuck by Al-Qaeda and its former Syrian affiliate — which now leads the powerful Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) alliance dominating Idlib.

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