Hayat Tahrir al-Sham kills and arrests Islamic State members in Idlib; Kurdish organizations call to expulse Turkish forces from Afrin
Local and field news:
On Tuesday night, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) killed a man and detained eight others after clashes as part of a security campaign in the city of Khan Sheikhoun, Southern Idlib, Northern Syria. The HTS accused the men of affiliating with ISIS.
A local source reported that the clashes were centered near the Hamra'a enterprise in the neighborhoods of al-Huda mosque and Wadi al-Ein. The source added that the HTS targeted specific people, most of them from ISIS.
Four successive explosions hit the city of al-Dana, 34 kilometers north of Idlib, Northern Syria, injuring a civilian and four Civil Defense volunteers. The explosions followed a car bomb explosion near an HTS headquarter.
The source reported that one of the Civil Defense volunteers received minor injuries and has already left the hospital. The source added that another volunteer underwent surgery, and surgeons extracted shrapnel from near his heart. The volunteer is now in intensive care. A third volunteer will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the city of Nawa, 30 kilometers north of Daraa, Southern Syria, arrested ISIS members from the district of al-Hajar al-Aswad in Southern Damascus. The HTS questioned the members and discovered ISIS units in the district, according to Qasem Abu al-Zein, a member of the Supreme Military Council.
On Thursday, the FSA made the Supreme Military Council in the city of Nawa responsible for the city's security. The Council includes the Martyr Jamil Abu al-Zein troop, the Ahrar Nawa troop, and the Ahrar Nawa coalition of the Jaysh al-Thawra.
On Tuesday, opposition military sources denied loyalist media reports about the deployment of loyalist forces to Southern Syria in preparation for a military operation in Daraa.
Two opposition military commanders said that the Syrian government is spreading propaganda about the deployment of military troops to intimidate civilians and convince them to reconcile with the government.
Dozens of FSA factions operating on the “Southern Front” in Southern Syria formed a new legion called the Rescue Army as the loyalist forces' military activities escalate in Daraa.
The Islamic State (ISIS) executed a person accused of smuggling and arrested ten others attempting to escape from a village in Eastern Deir ez-Zor, Eastern Syria. Local activists reported that ISIS arrested ten people attempting to escape from the ISIS-controlled village of Hajin, 95 kilometers east of Deir ez-Zor, to areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The activists noted that the people's arrests coincided with the end of battles between ISIS and the SDF in Eastern Deir ez-Zor. The activists attributed the end of the battles to the SDF being preoccupied with battles against ISIS in the villages of Tal al-Shair and al-Dashisha in Southern al-Hasakah, Northern Syria.
International and political news:
Kurdish parties, groups, and institutions delivered a letter to United Nations General Secretary and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to pressure Turkey and the Free Syrian Army to withdraw from the Afrin region in Aleppo, Northern Syria.
The Kurdish parties and groups called upon Turkey to stop the resettlement of displaced Arab families to Afrin, and allow media outlets and international humanitarian organizations to enter the area to convey what is happening. The Kurdish parties also called for an investigation of the war crimes and violations during the takeover of Afrin, and trials for all perpetrators regardless of their post, in addition to compensation for all victims.
The Syrian government recognizes two Russian-controlled autonomous regions in Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as independent states. The Syrian government’s decision to support the two regions’ autonomy led the Georgian government to boycott Syria. The Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed to recognize and start diplomatic relations with the two regions in appreciation for the support Russia has given the Syrian government.
The Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua said, "By doing so, the Assad regime supports Russia's military aggression against Georgia, the unlawful occupation of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia), and the ethnic cleansing that has been taking place for years." Georgia said it had "started procedures to sever diplomatic relations" with Syria.
In 2008, the Georgian separatists announced the independence of the two regions, with Russian military support. Besides Russia and Syria, only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vanuatu and Nauru recognize the regions as independent.