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Hurras al-Din Attacks Turkish Forces in Northwest Syria

Hurras al-Din Attacks Turkish Forces in Northwest Syria

Friday, 20 March, 2020 - 07:30
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants in the northwest of Syria (AFP)

Signs of confrontations emerged Thursday in the countryside of Idlib province between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Hurras al-Din amid the criticism of a human rights network over violations committed in the northwest of Syria.

A pro-opposition website said that Hurras al-Din attacked Turkish soldiers on the M4 highway.

Earlier, the Turkish Defense Ministry said two Turkish soldiers were killed and others were injured in Idlib in a rocket attack by "some radical groups" on the Aleppo-Latakiya road.

“The attack on the M4 highway was carried out by Hurras al-Din group, formerly a member of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,” the pro-opposition Zaman al-Wasl website quoted sources as saying.

Following the attack, fierce clashes erupted on the highway between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and an unidentified group.

Hurras al-Din is known for its rejection of the agreement signed between Turkey and Russia in Idlib.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) revealed in its report released Thursday that Hurras al-Din is responsible for kidnapping and forcibly disappearing six activists working for relief organizations in Idlib.

The network urged the release of the detainees, the activists, and the prisoners of conscience as a precaution from the coronavirus.

In its five-page report, the group also outlined the history of the establishment of Hurras al-Din in February 2018, with the group’s leaders founding it after their defection from al-Nusra Front.

The report noted that Hurras al-Din controls four secret detention centers with approximately 113 detainees, based on the accounts of a number of former detainees who were released by the group.

“The group often does not claim responsibility for the kidnappings or detentions it carries out in order to avoid unnecessary antagonism with local communities,” SNHR said.

The report accused Hurras al-Din of committing widespread violations of international human rights law against the people in the areas under its control through kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and unfair rulings issued by courts that in no way comply with the basic rules of fair trials.

It called on the international community and the Security Council to accelerate the political transition process towards democracy in Syria to expedite the process of ending extremist groups, which live on wars and conflicts.

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