Residents protest against HTS in Maarrat al-Nu'man, Idlib
Idlib - SMART
On Tuesday, dozens of residents in the city of Maarrat al-Nu'man in southern Idlib, Northern Syria, protested against the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The HTS is an Islamist opposition faction previously known as the al-Nusra Front, consisting of fighting groups including the Haqq Brigade, Jabhat Ansar al-Din, and Jaysh al-Sunnah.
Activists reported that the protesters emphasized their support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and condemnation of the HTS' entry into the city.
The protesters raised the flag of the Syrian Revolution and signs, some of which said, "You, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani (the leader of the the HTS) ask history what Maarrat al-Nu'man did to the invader before you," and "Displacing freedom fighters is al-Jawlani's policy just like his commander, Assad."
The residents protested against the HTS after clashes erupted between the HTS and factions of the FSA's National Liberation Front (NLF) in Idlib and Hama. Before the clashes, the HTS gained control of villages in Hama and Idlib.
Days ago, a dispute emerged between the HTS and NLF on the background of the killing of four HTS fighters by NLF fighters in the village of Tal 'Ada in Idlib. After the incident, the factions reached an agreement to settle the dispute; however, the HTS attacked NLF outposts in western Aleppo, accusing the NLF of violating the agreement. The HTS gained control of western Aleppo before the clashes expanded to Idlib and Hama.