Sources in northwestern Syria have revealed that Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is carrying out almost daily arrests targeting members and leaders of the Islamic State and other jihadist groups scattered across areas under HTS control. Most of those targeted hold non-Syrian nationalities.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, HTS began sending non-public messages to jihadists of non-Syrian nationalities who are in city centers within the Idleb governorate. HTS urged the foreign jihadists to leave the area while continuing to harass members as they pass through HTS checkpoints and expel them from houses that they had previously captured in Idleb city, which formerly belonged to collaborators and regime forces members. The sources confirmed that HTS asked jihadists of non-Syrian nationalities, located within regime-controlled areas, to leave Syrian territory if they can.
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Through its economic office, HTS sent reports to jihadist fighters working within the so-called “supporters of independent Islamic factions” last week, stating that their homes in Idleb city should be evacuated.
The area, controlled by the HTS (Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies), is currently experiencing security tensions. These tensions include arrest campaigns by Jabhat al-Nusra against the Guardians of Religion Organization’s militants and civilian demonstrations against Jabhat al-Nusra’s recent tactic of using gunfire to disperse protesters.
Security tensions are not limited to the arrests of Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists, but also extend to civilian gatherings. Last week, several vigils occurred that were directed against Jabhat al-Nusra. One vigil, held on February 8th, demanded revenge for a young man named Adnan Mahmoud al-Hijazi, who was found dead in his home in Jericho city of Hama. People gathered in Sabaa Bahrat square in Idleb city. The event reached the square after moving from the town of Sarmada and its surroundings to reach the city of Jericho in the southern countryside of Idleb. Heavy gunfire was heard in the air, causing terror and panic among the civilians.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.