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HTS and Syrian government forces clash near Aleppo; HNC denies working on constitution draft in Moscow

Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti

Field and local developments:

On Sunday, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) clashed with the Syrian government forces near the Jamiat al-Zahraa area, west of Aleppo, Northern Syria. Neither party advanced into the other’s area.

A source from the area reported that "violent" clashes occurred between the HTS and the Syrian government forces near Jamiat al-Zahraa, coinciding with Syrian government forces artillery shelling on the area.

The HTS allowed dozens of vehicles carrying displaced people, including fighters, civilians, and activists, to leave the city of Atarib, western Aleppo, and head for the city of Afrin, northern Aleppo, after holding them at a checkpoint near Atarib.

The HTS announced killing an Islamic State (IS) member and detaining another in the Darkoush area, western Idlib, Northern Syria, after clashes between the two parties.

Also in Idlib, more than 45 tents in the Juwayd Camp for displaced people of the Atmah compound were destroyed by heavy rainfall, amidst appeals to help the affected residents.

Mohsen al-Hussein, the Free Idlib Educational Directorate’s associate director, reported that 1,200 schools in Idlib received 53 thousand new internally displaced students from other governorates in 2018. The new students caused a 10 percent increase compared to 2017, and is only one of the challenges facing education in Idlib.

On Sunday, a mud house collapsed in the village of Makhzoum, on the road between al-Hasakah and the Abdul Aziz mountain, killing a woman and her child and injuring her other child. A fire broke out in the house after it collapsed.

International and political developments:

On Monday, Yahia al-Aridi, the spokesman of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) of the Riyadh II Conference, denied that he is working on a constitution draft in Moscow.

Al-Aridi reported to SMART that the draft items that were posted on social media are old and were presented earlier by Russia and the Syrian government during the Astana Talks, only to be rejected.

Al-Aridi added that the old constitution items were published "to make a fuss." The items suggested to rename Syria the Syrian Republic instead of the Syrian Arab Republic. The new alleged constitution also suggested deleting the word "Allah" from the presidential oath.