Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) launched on November 7 a large attack against civilians and local fighters in the town of Kafar Takharim in northern Idlib after they refused to pay Islamic taxes.
Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition outlet, reported that the crisis began earlier this week when HTS’s government attempted to collect Zakat [an Islamic tax] from the locals of Kafar Takharim, who had just harvested their olive farms.
Civilians rejected to pay the terrorist group, that hysterically increased its taxes over the last few years, and kicked its representatives and security forces out of Kafar Takharim.
HTS’ gave the locals a 48-hours to pay Zakat for the olive harvest or face a military attack. The Turkish-backed al-Sham Legion, which used to control the town, and a local Islamic council reached agreements with the terrorist group, justifying an attack on the town.
According to Enab Baladi, HTS launched the attack in the early morning, targeting the town with heavy weapons, which lead to casualties.
“Clashes are taking place in the town’s outskirt, HTS is using 14[.5] mm and 23 mm anti-aircraft guns as well as mortar shells, this resulted in two causalities and injured many displaced [civilians,” the outlet quoted sources inside the town as saying.
From its side, HTS claimed that its security forces are attacking “corrupters” in Kafar Takharim, accusing some of the locals of opening fire at two of its commanders.
Many towns in Greater Idlib witnessed protests in support of people from Kafr Takharim. However, the situation is not expected to escalate in any other part of the region. Most civilians fear the terrorist group’s iron fist.
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