On March 12, heavy clashes erupted between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) security forces and locals in the town of Saramada in the northern Idlib countryside.
According to opposition activists, HTS terrorists attacked an elderly local, Sa’ad Niyah, because he hit their checkpoint with his car by accident. The terrorists insulted the old man and assaulted him with the buttstocks of their rifles.
The incident provoked the locals, who launched an attack on HTS checkpoints around Saramada. After a few minutes of clashes, the terrorists withdrew from some of their positions.
Saramada is now witnessed high tension, with reports of new reinforcements of HTS arriving in the town’s vicinity. The terrorist group could attack the town at any given moment.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated HTS is ruling over Idlib with an iron fist. Over the last year, the terrorist group imprisoned hundreds of locals for political reasons. The group also tortured activists and was reportedly behind some assassinations.
New attempts to rebrand HTS as a moderate group are underway with support from Turkey. Ankara is trying to blend HTS and other al-Qaeda factions in Greater Idlib with its own proxies to form a new group that could be regarded as “moderate opposition.”
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