On April 1, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) executed a former member of the Syrian Parliament who was accused of spying for the government’s intelligence service.
The former MP, Rifaat Mahmoud al-Daqqah, was executed by HTS personnel in an unknown location in Greater Idlib. Opposition activists shared images showing the MP’s dead body. HTS is yet to announce the execution.
68-year old al-Daqqah was arrested by HTS security forces in May of 2019. He was accused of providing the Syrian intelligence with information on militants’ positions in the southwestern part of Greater Idlib, mainly around the town of Kabani in northern Lattakia.
Al-Daqqah, originally from the town of al-Janoudiyah, “defected” from the Syrian Parliament in 2011 in the early days of the crisis. Back then, militants pressured many local Syrian officials and service members to defect by threatening their families or business.
HTS arrested many civilians after accusing them of spying for the Syrian or the Russian intelligence over the last year. In no case a real evidence was presented to back these accusations. Most of these detainees end up executed in an ISIS-like style.
These executions are an example of HTS’ dictatorial rule over Greater Idlib. All of this is happening under the eyes of the Turkish military, which maintains a large force in the Syrian region.