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HTS Controls Crops and More Cases of Child Abduction in the North

The situation in Northern Syria, controlled by the HTS and the SDF, is becoming worse by the day, according to al-Watan.
HTS Controls Crops and More Cases of Child Abduction in the North
HTS Controls Crops and More Cases of Child Abduction in the North

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a cover for the terrorist Jabhat al-Nusra organization, issued a decision that allows it to control the sale and prices of fruits and vegetables. It prevented the entry of trucks of agricultural products from the northern countryside of Aleppo to its areas of control in Idleb. This decision coincided with the start of harvesting seasonal vegetables produced in areas controlled by ISIS leaders in the Roj plain, west of Idleb.

This came at a time when missing children cases have recently increased in areas controlled by the Turkish occupation forces and al-Nusra.

The so-called Salvation Government affiliated with al-Nusra issued a decree banning trucks carrying some agricultural products, from the northern Aleppo countryside, from entering the areas they control in Idleb, according to opposition websites.

The decision included Jew’s mallow (mulukhiyah), onions, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, gypsum, and peppers. The expiry dates, and the dates in which the entry of these vegetables have been prohibited, have been determined as well.

Control Prices

On July 11th, the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey, which is under the control of terrorist organizations loyal to the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issued a decree banning the entry of dried onions, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, gypsum, and tomatoes.

Idleb governorate’s farmers confirmed that HTS’s decision came in conjunction with the start of seasonal vegetable harvesting in the area of Sahel al-Rouj, in western Idleb. These crops belong to HTS leaders and are planted in large quantities, such as potatoes, Jew’s mallow, onions, and gypsum. This development was in HTS’s favor as it allowed them to control prices in accordance with their interests.

The population ridiculed and condemned this decision. This wave of discontent was exacerbated after Idleb’s markets witnessed new amendments to pricing regulations. Many residents considered the Salvation Government’s decisions were in its interest; it earns a significant profit at the expense of the population which is suffering from poverty and an economic slump.

Read Also: Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham Arrested Critical Media Activist

The so-called Office of Wounded and Missing Affairs, in Idleb, explained that the increase in missing child cases is a result of the living conditions and child labor. It is also due to the crises that are ravaging the population, mainly the issues of the displacement and relocation of residents, more than once.

The office stated that in June alone, the number of missing children reached 19 out of 80 missing persons — including 52 men and nine women. 62 of those missing have returned after a period of absence.

For his part, the so-called media director of the Office of Wounded and Missing Affairs, Mahmoud al-Ibrahim, stressed that the topic of kidnapping, which has been widely popular lately, is true and common. However, cases of children kidnapping for ransom do not exceed 1%, while cases of child kidnapping by their relatives are witnessed more than once in some cases of family disputes between souses.

Ibrahim pointed out that the mechanism for reducing the rate of missing children cases requires work and solidarity between different parties. The most important necessity in the region is stability.

In parallel, the separatist Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias continued their criminal activities in recruiting children, in their areas of control in northeastern Syria. This recruitment is taking place through the so-called Revolutionary Youth of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), according to websites supporting terrorist organizations and oppositions.

In SDF-controlled areas, mothers suffer from the hardship of searching for their daughters, who were forcibly recruited, and are in the custody of the abductees. Khawla Darwish al-Satouf explained that her daughter, Ahed Abdul Ghani, who is born in 2005, left the house earlier this month, after a dispute between her and her brother. After Ahed’s departure, the mother searched for her to no avail; she later learned that her daughter was recruited in the ranks of the Revolutionary Youth in the city of Qamishli, in al-Hassakeh governorate.

A source confirmed that the Revolutionary Youth centers were undeclared, and are affiliated with PYD. However, some recently-opened public centers belonged to the Revolutionary Youth.  The source pointed out that one of the centers is located on the western belt of the city of Qamishli, and another center in the city Shabab.


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.

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