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Explosion near HTS headquarter injures and kills people in Idlib; Turkey warns YPG against allowing Syrian government forces to enter Manbij

Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Farah Nassif |
Translation: Nouha Salti


Local and filed news:

On Friday, an anonymous explosion targeted a Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) headquarter near the southern entrance of the city of Idlib, Northern Syria. The explosion killed and injured several HTS members.

Local activists reported to SMART that the explosion took place near the HTS al-Mutlaq checkpoint on the road between Idlib and Ariha. The explosion killed about 12 people likely to be HTS members.   

Two shooting incidents by unknown persons killed an HTS member and injured others in the countrysides of Aleppo and Idlib, Northern Syria.

Russian and Syrian government forces shelling killed a child and a woman and injured two other civilians in a town and a city in northern Hama.

Local sources reported to SMART that the Syrian government forces bases in the city of Soran targeted residential neighborhoods in the town of Mourik, 27 kilometers north of Hama, with artillery shells. The shelling killed a child and a woman and injured a pregnant woman, who was transported to a nearby medical center.

Local activists also reported that Russian and Syrian government forces stationed in the Qubeibat al-Hawa base, northern Hama, shelled residential neighborhoods in Kafr Zayta, moderately injuring a civilian.  

The International Coalition against the Islamic State (IS) bombed the area near the IS-controlled village of al-Baghouz, 119 kilometers south of Deir al-Zor, killing 20 civilians, including children and women.  

On Jan. 17, 2019, the International Coalition announced that it targeted an IS operation control headquarters built inside a mosque in al-Safsafa near Deir al-Zor.

Dozens of people demonstrated in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-controlled city of al-Gharanij, 90 kilometers northeast of Deir al-Zor, demanding the SDF to free prisoners and detainees in IS prisons.  

In al-Raqqa, dozens of people also demonstrated in the city of al-Tabqah after the Friday prayers, demanding to overthrow the Syrian government and refusing to deal with it.

International and political news:

On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry warned the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) against allowing the Syrian government forces to enter the city of Manbij, east of Aleppo, Northern Syria.  

During a press conference, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said that the YPG should not be allowed to let the Syrian government forces enter Manbij, adding that expelling the YPG is a national issue for Turkey, according to the Turkish agency Anadolu.   

Aksoy added that Turkey seeks to keep the Turkish-Russian ceasefire agreement in Idlib, saying that the Syrian government is attempting to break the agreement and executed several provocation in the recent period. The Syrian government is trying to earn a military victory, according to Anadolu.    

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the HTS occupies 70 percent of the demilitarized zone agreed on by Russia and Turkey in the Idlib governorate.  

During a press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Lavrov stated, "It also worries us that in Idlib, contrary to the agreements on creating the demilitarized zone there, Jabhat al-Nusra dominates and violates the demilitarized zone. Terrorists already occupy about 70 percent of this territory; they are trying to attack the Syrian army’s positions, settlements and they are trying to threaten our military air base in Hmeimim."