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HTS seizes buildings in Maarrat al-Nu'man, southern Idlib

Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2019/01/28 22:35

Idlib - SMART

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) members seized buildings in the city of Maarrat al-Nu'man, 75 kilometers south of Idlib, Northern Syria, after entering the city for the first time.

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.

Local sources reported to SMART that the HTS members entered the city and established checkpoints in the streets. The HTS also seized the main bank building and the al-Qishla historic building, in which members of the Suqour al-Sham Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were based earlier. The Suqour al-Sham Brigade members withdrew during clashes.

Knowladgble sources reported to SMART that dignitaries from Maarrat al-Nu'man met with the city's military council, which includes FSA commanders from the city, prior to the entry of the HTS members. During the meeting, the dignitaries and commanders discussed a mechanism to remove all military bases from the city.

Earlier, the local and consultative councils of the city issued a decision to remove all military bases from the city after locals and committees demanded to empty the city from any military headquarters to protect the safety of civilians.

The HTS seized and destroyed medical equipment from the Jajranaz town's medical center, and stormed service buildings that used to belong to the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement in the village of Termala in southern Idlib, confiscating all equipment in the building.

Earlier, the HTS concluded an agreement with the FSA's National Liberation Front, transferring the control of Idlib to the Salvation Government. The agreement also included unofficial terms that allowed the HTS to build military bases in the cities of Maarrat al-Nu'man and Ariha in southern Idlib.