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HTS and FSA take over locations of dissolved Ahrar al-Sham faction in northern Hama; Erdogan and Trump discuss establishment of safe zone in Northeastern Syria

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2019/01/15 11:03

Local and field news:

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and factions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) took over locations previously controlled by the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement, which dissolved in northern and western Hama, Central Syria.

On Tuesday, activists reported to SMART that military commanders from the Jaysh al-Naser, Jaysh al-Nukhba, al-Sham Legion, and the 1st Division of the FSA's National Liberation Front (NLF) met with HTS commanders to take over the defensive locations against the Syrian government forces in the area, which the Ahrar al-Sham controlled earlier.

A power cut affected most of the city of Hama, Central Syria, and parts of its western countryside, due to a technical error in the power stations of al-Zara and Mahardeh.

Local sources reported to SMART that the two power stations were shut down due to an unknown technical error. The Tal Qartal and Ayn al-Loza power stations provide power for the area while technicians repair al-Zara and Mahardeh.

Robberies have become a daily occurrence in the city of Talbisah, 10 kilometers north of Homs, Central Syria, amidst a lack of security enforcement by the Syrian government forces.

Talbisah residents reported to SMART that robbers used to steal motorcycles, but now also steal sheep, cows, and gas cylinders. The thieves also robbed houses.

In Northern Syria, the local council of the city of Atarib, 30 kilometers west of Aleppo, Northern Syria, announced the resignation of all of its members. The council stated that it will continue working until the formation of a new council.

Ali Hantash, the head of the Atarib local council, reported to SMART that all the members resigned and formed an election committee to choose the members of the new council.

On Monday, the Asayish Forces of the Autonomous Administration reinforced their checkpoints in western and northern al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, amidst high security measures in preparation for potential Islamic State (IS) infiltration attempts.

Sources from the Asayish Forces reported that they reinforced their checkpoints in the villages of al-Sahlabiah, al-Adnaniah, Yaroub, and al-Jazra in western al-Raqqa, and the villages of al-Kalta, Hzeimah, al-Hukumiah, and Mazraat Tishrin in northern al-Raqqa.

In Southern Syria, the Syrian government forces prevented Palestinian refugees who used to live in the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus from leaving towns in southern Rif Dimashq without a security permission.

A Palestinian refugee who was displaced to Northern Syria reported to SMART that the Syrian government demanded security permissions for all Palestinian refugees still livig in Southern Syria, including school and university students. The security permissions are issued from security directorates in the towns of Yalda, Babila, and Beit Sahm and from the headquarters of the pro-Syrian government Palestinian militias, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the reconciliation office.

Unknown armed persons shot a man accused of working with the Syrian government forces, injuring him in the city of al-Sanamayn, 53 kilometers north of Daraa, Southern Syria.

A local source reported to SMART that the armed persons shot Eid al-Rahil next to his house, severely injuring him. Al-Rahil was transported to a hospital in Damascus for treatment.

International and political news:

On Monday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his United States counterpart Donald Trump discussed the establishment of a safe zone in Northeastern Syria.

During a telephone conversation between Erdogan and Trump, they discussed the establishment of a safe zone free from terrorism and the US decision to withdraw from Syria, according to the Anadolu news agency.

Ibrahim Qattan, the leader of the Syria's Future Party, which is affiliated with the Kurdish Autonomous Administration, reported to SMART that the Autonomous Administration is mediating negotiations with the Syrian government regarding the protection of Northeastern Syria. Qattan added, "In the beginning, we did not reach any agreement with the Syrian government, but we made fair progress in discussions about protecting the area from the potential Turkish military operation."