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HTS and Ahrar al-Sham clash in Idlib; Syrian government forces intensify bombing on Southern Idlib

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Editing: Amena Riyad |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti

Field and local developments:

On Monday, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) seized two villages in Southern Idlib, Northern Syria, after clashing with the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement.

Local activists told SMART that the HTS seized the villages of Jadraya and Aneb in the Ariha area, Southern Idlib, after clashes with the Ahrar al-Sham, which fights for the National Liberation Front (NLF) of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The clashing parties used heavy and medium-caliber weapons and killed a member of the Ahrar al-Sham and injured another in Jadraya.

The local council of the village of al-Laj in the Ariha area, 14 kilometers west of Idlib, Northern Syria, demanded the village's neutralization from the infighting between the HTS and the Ahrar al-Sham.

The Syrian government forces targeted villages and towns in Southern Idlib with more than 50 artillery and missile shells.

On Saturday, the Free Idlib Directorate of Education announced extending the closure of schools in the village of al-Tah, Southern Idlib, due to a repeated shelling by the Syrian government forces.

On Monday, the Shafaq Makani Organization and the Aspirin Team held a seminar to raise awareness about breast cancer, how to detect it early, and how it is treated at the University of Idlib City, Northern Syria.

Fatimah Jammo, an administrative officer for Shafaq Makani, told SMART that the seminar focused on raising women's awareness of the significance of early detection of breast cancer. Early detection helps cure about 96 percent of breast cancer cases. The seminar also addressed ways to avoid the disease.

In Northeastern Syria, unknown persons shot and injured a civilian in Northern al-Raqqa.

A medical source from the town of Solouk's hospital told SMART that a young man, Mansour al-Shibl, was severely injured by four gunshots in the shoulder and waist while driving on the Solouk-al-Kantary road.

In al-Hasakah, two bridges partially collapsed and several roads were closed due to floods caused by heavy rainfall in the town of al-Yaarubiyah, 121 kilometers northeast of al-Hasakah.

In Southern Syria, the Syrian government forces arrested dozens of young men in two days in the Daraa governorate for their military reserve.

On Monday, the Documentation Office in Daraa said that the Syrian government forces arrested more than 70 young men in the past two days, including civilians and former members of the FSA for their military reserve.

In Rif Dimashq, the Syrian government forces detained dozens of young men at checkpoints in the city of al-Tall, 10 kilometers north of Damascus, in search of people wanted for compulsory military service.

The prices of basic goods in the Daraa governorate increased by more than 25 percent in the last two months, coinciding with a decrease in the Syrian pound exchange rate against the United States dollar.

Civil sources from the city of Jasim, 40 kilometers north of Daraa, told SMART that the SYP exchange rate decreased by more than 16 percent, as one US dollar reached 500 SYP after it was 420 SYP two months earlier.

Residents of Jasim complained about poor-quality and expensive basic services compared to their income.

International and political developments:

On Monday, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces said that the FSA is ready to retaliate against the repeated violations committed by the Syrian government forces and Iran against the Turkish-Russian demilitarization agreement in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.

Also on Monday, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he will discuss the Iranian presence in Syria with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a press interview, Netanyahu said, "I will have an important meeting with Pompeo (…) We will discuss the measures we will take together to block the aggression of Iran and its allied organizations in Syria," according to the Anadolu News Agency.