People in Syria’s Idlib continue protests against HTS

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – Dozens of residents in several cities and towns in Idlib Governorate, northwestern Syria, took to the streets on Sunday evening to protest against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front).

As a response, the HTS militants blocked the roads to prevent the protesters from gathering in some places.

North Press correspondent said people in the cities, towns and villages of Taftanaz, Maarrat Misrin, Sarmin, Ariha, Deir Hassan, Taoum, Haranabush, Binnish, Killi and Atmeh have protested against the HTS.  

The protests have erupted in Idlib since late February sparked by the killing of a man under torture in HTS prisons.

The protests extended to several cities, towns and villages in Idlib, demanding the release of hundreds of detainees and the removal of Abu Mohammad al-Julani, HTS’ leader. 

The group’s General Security Service (GSS) conducted patrols in the areas that witnessed protests and set up more than 28 checkpoints.

The correspondent added that the HTS arrested 19 individuals in the villages of Arab Saeed, Sheikh Bahr, and the town of Ariha in the governorate.

Lately, the HTS has been experiencing internal divisions and defections among prominent leaders within its ranks. It began with figures like Abu Maria al-Qahtani, Abu Ahmad Zakour, and others. Furthermore, the HTS’ security branches arrest and pursue those who challenge its policies or attempt to expose its internal affairs, especially targeting its own militants.

By Hani Salem