On June 11, security personnel of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) assaulted two men near the Atimah crossing, which links Greater Idlib with the Turkish-occupied area of Afrin.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the two men, both displaced from Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta, were attacked by HTS militants as they were heading from Afrin to Idlib.
“They beat them fiercely before arresting one of them after stripping him from his personal weapon,” the UK-based monitoring group side in the report.
Opposition activists said the man left behind is suffering from serious injures. HTS militants left him bleeding on the roadside.
حاجز #أطمة يعتدي بالضرب على شابين أثناء توجههما من عفرين إلى إدلب ويقوم باعتقال أحدهما وترك الثاني مضرجاً بدمائه على الأرض ليقوم المارة بإسعافه ..#ملاحظة الشابين هما الدورية الروسية التركية .. pic.twitter.com/dAn574fYIE
— أبو جمال – جيش الإسلام – (@JMAL_ASLAM) June 11, 2020
This was the second such incident in the last 48 hours. A day earlier, HTS security personnel assaulted journalists who were covering the 16th Russian-Turkish patrol on the M4 highway. Several journalists were beaten up and some of their equipment were destroyed.
Last month, opposition activists in Idlib organized a series of protests against HTS. The protests were held in response to an incident in which the terrorist group’s security force killed a local man who was demonstrating against opening a crossing with government-held areas.
These recent incidents show how HTS is working to intimidate civilians in Greater Idlib in order to solidify its grip on the region.