HTS executes four people in Syria's Idlib province as Assad regime, rebels violate ceasefire

HTS executes four people in Syria's Idlib province as Assad regime, rebels violate ceasefire
The Islamist extremist group HTS has executed four people in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province as rebels and the regime clashed on the frontlines in violation of a ceasefire.
2 min read
12 April, 2020
The hardline Islamist group HTS dominates Idlib province [Getty Archive Image]
The Islamist extremist group Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) executed four people in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on Saturday after accusing them of murder, theft, and kidnapping.

Social media pages of people close to HTS said that the executions had taken place in the town of Mahambel, after the condemned people had been found guilty of kidnapping and murdering the owner of a money exchange office in 2018.

Earlier this week, HTS also executed a former member of the Syrian regime's parliament after accusing him of spying for the regime.

Read also: Exhausted by war, Syrians struggle to cope with coronavirus pandemic

HTS, which used to be affiliated to Al-Qaeda, dominates most of Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, and has its own security apparatus and courts.

It has imposed restrictions on the local population and has arrested civilian activists opposed to its ideology. Protests against its rule have taken place on numerous occasions.

Separately, rebels from another group, the National Liberation Front (NLF), clashed with regime forces and pro-regime militias west of Aleppo.

A source from the NLF said that the rebels had stopped a regime attempt to advance on rebel held positions in western Aleppo provinces.

Further clashes between rebels and the regime took place in the Jabal al-Zawiya area of Idlib province.

A Turkish and Russian sponsored ceasefire in Idlib province has been in effect since early March but it is frequently violated by the regime. Prior to the ceasefire, hundreds of people were killed and nearly a million more were displaced in a regime and Russian campaign against the rebel-held area.

More than 500,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011, mostly as a result of Bashar al-Assad's regime bombardment of civilian areas.

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