Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has prevented angry protestors from reaching a key border crossing with Turkey in the northern countryside of Idlib.
Thousands of civilians marched towards the al-Bab al-Hawa border crossing in the morning to protest against the Turkish silence over the ongoing attack on Idlib and demand the reopening of the border.
The terrorist group’s security forces met the protestors with force, using tear gas and live fire to push them away from the crossing. The road to the crossing was also blocked by hundreds of masked gunmen and cement barriers.
“HTS personnel responsible for the region attempted to run over the protestors with their cars, which led to the injury of some demonstrators,” a report for the Enab Baladi pro-opposition news outlet said.
The exact number of protestors injured by HTS security forces is yet to be revealed. Videos released by opposition activist show violent clashes south of Bab al-Hawa.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), HTS arrested at least four opposition activists during the protestors. Local sources said that up to six activists and journalists were held by the terrorist group.
A day earlier, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies launched a large-scale military operation in southeast Idlib. The operation was provoked by a series of attacks by HTS, which sabotaged all the peaceful initiatives made by Russia and Turkey over the last year.