Security forces of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have arrested Fayez al-Daghim, a prominent opposition activist in Greater Idlib.
Al-Daghim was reportedly arrested on August 24 after getting into an argument with the traffic police of HTS’ Salvation Government in Idlib city. The activist’s phone and car were seized. He was also prevented from contacting his parents. His current location remains unknown.
Like many activists, al-Daghim produced and distributed propaganda supporting armed groups in Greater Idlib, including HTS. He mainly worked for the Turkey-based Syria TV.
هيئة تحرير الشام تعتقل الناشط الإعلامي فايز الدغيم في مدينة إدلب، في 24 آب. تخشى الشبكة السورية أن يتعرّض لعمليات تعذيب، وأن يُصبح في عداد المُختفين قسرياً كحال 85% من مُجمل المعتقلين.#سورياhttps://t.co/guJ0nvcg3Z pic.twitter.com/zwvaViftLE
— الشبكة السورية (@SN4HR) August 29, 2020
HTS is under immense public pressure over the arrest of American journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem and British aid worker Tauqir Sharif.
Last week, foreign jihadists threatened HTS security forces and accused the group’s leader, Abu Mohamad al-Julani, of “betraying” and “selling” them.
According to a new report by the pro-opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights, at least 2116 civilians are currently arrested by HTS. The fate of 85% of them remain unknown.
HTS is constantly working to tighten its grip over Greater Idlib. Turkey, which maintains a fairly large force in the region, is turning a blind eye to the terrorist group’s acts. Ankara’s passive behavior seems to encourage al-Julani.