Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, has reportedly arrested over 30 children under the age of 14 in rural Idleb, according to local sources. The arrests took place at crossings connecting areas controlled by HTS in Idleb countryside with those controlled by Ankara factions in Aleppo countryside. Approximately 35 children were allegedly detained over the past six months.
The reasons for the arrests, as mentioned by the sources, include the fact that some of these children reside in camps along the Syrian-Turkish border. They are involved in transporting diesel from areas controlled by Ankara factions in Aleppo countryside to Idleb countryside, where they sell it to HTS. This is attributed to the lower price of diesel in Ankara-controlled areas compared to those under HTS
The majority of these children, aged between 8 and 14, are reportedly orphans. They are subjected to physical abuse, arrests, and detentions lasting several days. Families are allegedly coerced into paying fines and signing peldges not to transport food or fuel from Ankara-controlled areas to those under HTS.
It’s worth noting that HTS has full control over the entry of food and fuel through traders directly connected to the organization’s leaders. The group aims to dominate all crossings linking its areas with those controlled by Ankara factions, with a particular focus on the Hamran crossing in the Jarablus countryside. The leader of HTS, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, seeks to expand his influence, both militarily and economically, by gaining control over these strategic crossings.
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.