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HTS controls villages in Idlib and Hama; Jordan installs barbed wire along border near Rukban Camp

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

Field and local developments:

In Northern Syria, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) gained control of the villages of Tarmala, Aabdin, and Safouhin in western Idlib after clashes with the National Liberation Front (NLF) of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Earlier, the HTS gained control of the town of Hazano (20 kilometers north of Idlib) after an agreement with the town's dignitaries, who handed over the town's military and security affairs to the HTS.

The Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement, which is affiliated with the NLF, built earth mounds on the roads leading to the cities of Maarrat al-Nu'man, Ariha, and Deir Sonbul, the town of Talmanas, and the village of al-Bardah, and brought military reinforcements to the area to block possible HTS attacks.

An Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement shooting injured a woman in southern Idlib, while a shooting by unknown persons killed a young man in the city of Sarmin.

A private source said that the gang that kidnapped the logistics manager of the People In Need organization from the city of Idlib demanded a $35 thousand dollar ransom to be sent to the al-Raqqa governorate.

In Aleppo, the HTS confiscated $153 thousand dollars from the Atarib city mill after the HTS gained control of the city.

A group of Palestinian refugees in Northern Syria announced the establishment of the Palestinian Refugee Association in the city of Azaz, 43 kilometers north of Aleppo.

Residents of the Qurtuba Camp for displaced people near the town of Batabo suffered from a storm that hit the area and appealed to humanitarian organizations for support.

In Central Syria, the HTS gained control of the village of al-Ankawi in the al-Ghab Plain, Hama, after clashes with the Ahrar al-Sham.

Jordanian authorities have started to install barbed wire along the earth mounds that separate the Rukban Camp, 240 kilometers southeast of Homs, from the Jordanian border.

A vaccination campaign against polio targeted 24 thousand children from the Hama governorate, including children displaced from Hama to Idlib.

The local council of the city of Kafr Zayta, western Hama, discuss its service and development plan for 2019.

In Eastern Syria, the International Coalition against the Islamic State (IS) said in a report that it raided IS locations in Syria 469 times between December 19 and December 29, 2018, destroying 291 IS military bases.

The report issued by the coalition’s public affairs office included a summary about the coalition’s operations during the mentioned period in Syria and Iraq.

The Syrian government forces arrested several young men from the city of Albu Kamal near Deir al-Zor on different charges, including dealing with the IS.

International and political developments:

The Turkish and Greek Police caught a large quantity of drug pills smuggled from Syrian government-controlled areas through the Mediterranean in the Port of Piraeus, eight kilometers southwest of Athens, Greece.

Turkish media outlets said that the Turkish Police obtained information about a large drug smuggling operation from Syria to the Port of Piraeus and sent a security team to inform the Greek authorities of the operation.