Large Civilian Protests Against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham In Southern Damascus (Photos, Video)

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On January 5, thousands of civilians including women and children protested in the towns of Babbila and Beit Sahem south of Damascus city against the al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Hamas-affiliated militant group Jaysh al-Ababil, according to Syrian pro-government sources.

The Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV said that the protestors condemned the terrorists acts of HTS and Jaysh al-Ababil during the protests and called on the two Islamist groups to leave the area.

Local sources reported the Jaysh al-Ababil fighters injured several protestors with machine guns.


Last week, dozens of children protested in the towns of Babbila and Beit Sahem against Jaysh al-Ababil, after it had arrested their relatives because they were planning to join the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

Large Civilian Protests Against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham In Southern Damascus (Photos, Video)

Click to see the full-size image

The Syrian government has been negotiating with HTS and Jaysh al-Ababil to expel them from the towns of Aqraba, Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babila since December 2017. However, many foreign fighters of HTS and commanders linked to the Palestinian Hamas Movement refused to leave the towns, according to pro-government activists.

While the protests will increase the pressure on HTS and Jaysh al-Ababil, the Islamist groups will not likely accept an agreement to leave southern Damascus unless the SAA launches a military operation against them.

On December 27, the pro-government blog al-Masdar reported that the SAA is preparing to launch a military operation against ISIS, HTS and Jaysh al-Ababil south of the Syrian capital, Damascus. However, this report appeared to be untrue. The SAA is now deeply involved in operations against militants in Eastern Ghouta and southern Idlib. This does not allow government forces to open a new major front.

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  • Simon Gould

    Don’t expect to see coverage of this on mainstream media like the BBC – just as they’ve steadfastly refused to report the thousands protesting against government corruption in Israel.

    • dutchnational

      I have serious doubts about this protestmarch. There were only women and children for the photoshoots. Where the people were marching, only males to be seen. So imo they paid a bunch of unemployed to march and shout. They had nothing else to do and it got them their small reward.

      • PizzaPineapple

        We don’t care about ‘your opinion’, unless you got evidence to back it up.

        • dutchnational

          Just look at the photos. Imo not a real march. A few women and children in front, the rest males. Classic structure for government organised protests in the mideast region. Can be seen anywhere, incl in the pro government rallies in Iran this week.

          Want to believe propaganda? Be my guest. Not care for my two cents? Who cares about that either?

          • Syrian Teenager

            Please, do not lecture others before you have enlightened yourself. Those pictures are not of the same demonstration. The article clearly says the children were protesting last week. Check the video for the demonstration of yesterday. Had you been observant and seen the video, you would have seen the tons of women marching. It also makes sense to see them being predominantly veiled, as Babbila is known for its more religious tendencies, in relation to the capital. Furthermore, how would the government so effectively spread such a message and organise it without reaching the people? They’re not in control of the area after all.

            But I guess some people only see what they want to see. Kudos to PizzaPineapple for standing up for the truth.

          • ALEPPO327

            Don’t you think that anyone in their right mind would find it EXTREMIST RISKY to organize marches and pay people to go out and protest in an area under extremist terrorist control?

          • Jens Holm

            They do. Other possibilities often is not there as in Syria. No real parlament. A Goverment which surpricingly have ears and no free press. No opposition organs of any value is allowed.

          • Samuel Boas

            Why do you even come here in the first place, you are just a pathetic troll who always advocates for ISIS and their friends.

          • Jens Holm

            I am not him, but we are blamed knowing nothing. So we come to know things better. You are less then a second away and we get Your problems here as well as we are creating some of Yours.

          • dutchnational

            Please show me where I advocate IS.

          • Bob

            Are you currently a resident of southern Damascus?
            Have you lived with Al-Nusra/HTS foreign sponsored terrorism for seven years?
            No…?

          • Jens Holm

            Do You ?

          • Bob

            Very weak attempt at a diversionary tactic
            How about you just actually answer the questions?
            No…?

      • Tudor Miron

        Dutchy, it seems that you wanted to post it in this article https://southfront.org/protests-continue-iran-videos/ but posted it here by mistake :)

      • Weldon Cheek

        How the f**k do you know whats happening from a couple of photos?what in your”honest opinion”do you imagine would happen if this was a proper mass protest involving adult males etc in this area controlled by these groups?,could it not be that these women are just trying in the only way the think possible to show the outside that they are still there and beg not to be forgotten? This is a horrible place,these people are surrounded by all these evil groups and you with your shitty “honest opinion” belittles and tramples them even more than they already have been,your a constant on here with your sniping and put downs against the true people of Syria,the only side that is just in this war is the Syrian government and the Syrian people. All allies who have been asked to help save the country are there legitimately,anyone else is an invader or terrorist plain and simple,or do you still believe its a civil war?.

        • Jens Holm

          Youb are right. Some photos, some texts or videoclips are too easy to be concluded false.

          To me it is a civile war based on reasons made by Baathistas during many years. The glas became full.

          AFTER that those many foreigners has come in solving nothing. 1) The usual way here would be the Governess by Assad and the Goverment resigned for an election.

          2) And others were allowed and had good conditions to tell, how they were better.

          None of that exist in Syria and are kept away by jail, torturre, killing as well as deportations, som there has been a systematic war against normal civilians i a fair way.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Keep living your lie not many believe Peter.

          • Bob

            Dude you are so a paid troll – ‘a civile war based on reasons made by Baathistas’ – what complete and utter tosh. The CIA made contact with the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in late 2000’s – this was openly suggested in period Pentagon white paper reports. With express intent of encouraging and fomenting disruptive and violent Sunni fundamentalist, rural and sectarian based, actions against the existing secular – and non US compliant – Syrian state.

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        dumbnational always showing your true colors even I told you this happened and they are raising regiments in the Yarmouk camp to expel these gunman Terrorists , just as they did in Beit Jinn imagine how bad they lost that area. No one could complain it was local and the government all except for one death late in the conflict of a Lebanese commander in Hezbollah Khatib aiding their local Syrian partner group there.

        • Jens Holm

          This SAA and their airstrikers could move back and leave people alone.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Why would you bring up the SAA that is such a non thing in this are you commenting on the wrong thing.The people want the US backed terrorist gunmen gone they use the same methods as the Fascist IDF in crowd control on Palestinian people, by using live rounds on them.

          • Jens Holm

            More like they want peace for any price and all hopes has been destructed by Your own kind.

            Strange You can prefare this for Ottomans or France.

            I read here all the time, that Golan is yours. You were given it and You handled it way. Here people even write som missiles and hesbollah can change those facts and as id Putibn are under your command.

            I see exact same kinds of socalled rights for the Baathists and Assads. No learning. No reflexion.

            You just tell illusions, which You have constructed by Yourself supported by bajonets and censurship.

            Whats succes in Syria ? 500.000 dead ? 10 mio refugees. billions of destructions ? Back to Old Assad or see Muhammed leave Jerusalem next Year. So where is the chimny ?

            Even in 1967 You did not learn. Not even Your army and airforce has changed since then.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            What are you talking about you idiot , this is all now blamed on the regime change fanatics lead by the US Neo-Cons whom are responsible for these actions.

            Making reference to their version of colonialism afterwards is just no way to make a point as the French had Syria taken out so it wouldn’t fall the issues as UK-US versions of colonialism would prevail, guess they had a conscious to some extent. They also tried to play the region and in the long run they came to this. Well after all their colonial actions failed in controlling the growth of democracy in the and socialism in the middle east because that was has happened inspite of their attempts otherwise.

            The World people and public at large are too smart for these old deceptions to work what has the actions of this US/Coalition has wrought even your tiny brain dead nations Government has changed it’s position and is questioning the why.

            See that some of these old colonial powers haven’t learned their days are numbered change with the times or get lost in the times and whine about Old Glory.

            The facts about the Golan is returning is pretty much done , the demise of Israel is eventual as it’s a failed colony anyways. Why the effort to try and save it by creating a war which none of the Allies really want.

            The only one who constructs illusions is you as the US power wanes and drains itself out , they say in that country power to the people and that may result in the destruction of it, but a new birth of the nation it should have been.

            The Israelis never learned in 1967 never start a war they can’t finish if the US people knew that killing and attacking the USS liberty was about grabbing land and forcing the US to defend their ill gotten gains. They would cut the daily funding of 10 billion dollars a day to Israel without any remorse and would hand over the Israelis tied up in a bow package to her enemies, that would be everyone.

            My guess it’s you have never learned anything…..

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Where are the SAA are nowhere near this you sick drain on humanity.What you don’t like the truth getting exposed about the ISIS in that region along with HTS there are you some sick individual that needs some help with social skills.

          • Jens Holm

            I do get them very well. They dont like the solutions of Assads.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            You do know they are Palestinian refugees in the Yarmouk camp , that happens to be the name of the region which holds these villages and towns. Why do you think they like the solutions of the Assads as they were the ones that came to their rescue where they were being exterminated by your ilk in Palestine.

          • dutchnational

            Assads never helped any palestinian. They allowed them to rot for three generations in so called camps as so called quasi refugees on the expense of the West. By any law those Palestinians are Syrians, born and bred. Child, father, granddad, greatgranddad, four generations born in Syria and still Palestinians? Nonsense and fiction.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Assads have helped unlike the rest of the world other than soft platitudes and that has been curtailed as the US throws it’s economic might around. What I see is your rather boring since the camp has always taken in refugees since it’s beginning. How old do you think the camp can you tell me, 1957 it started as a squatters camp in area of 2.1 km , people like Bitari in 2015 say that Palestinians living in there enjoyed almost the same rights as Syrians and had the best of all living conditions in Arab states.

            Show where in the US that they gave citizenship to the Mexican squatters, very rare and never comes to mind.

            What fiction are you trying to feed everyone who reads a comment section, is it because HTS and the rest of the gunmen are being stood up to by the people of Syria and told to leave or they have kicked them out.

      • gustavo

        You are really stupid and blind. You do not want to see what appears in front of your own eyes. Sorry, but you a reaching my stupidity tolerance limit.

      • electron

        Dutch, read between the lines; these locals are primarily interested in preserving their homes and properties, which would be devastated should SAA open an active front against AQ right in these neighborhoods. I see this as a way for the locals to distance themselves from AQ militants, and inspire more sympathy from the government. These neighborhoods are/were under cease-fire/reconciliation regimes; and the locals want to keep it that way.
        Some militant groups broke this cease fire regime by engaging in active military action against SAA a few days back, threatening response from Damascus. Opening a front there means locals loose their homes and property and become displaced.
        Nevertheless; I don`t think there will be an active mission in this area; the militants in Ghouta have done a great job of turning the whole brunt of SAA and public opinion against them by having broken the reconciliation efforts and launching attacks in Harasta.

        • dutchnational

          You forgot to mention that SAA had been bombing and shelling for some two months before AAS attacked.

          SAA has broken all zones, forget it. Assad buried the initiative, edged on by Iran.

          • Weldon Cheek

            You just keep on going!!what are you possibly getting from making up all these pathetic stories and inane comments?i allways remember the saying” better to keep your mouth shut and let people THINK YOUR A FOOL than to open it and let them KNOW YOUR A FOOL”. And along with one or two others on this forum the content of your comments has only proven that saying to be right!

      • Icarus Tanović

        You’re such an ignorant idiot.

        • dutchnational

          You mean to say I do not get Assad as a wonderful gay?

          • Icarus Tanović

            I don’t give a shiit fucck what do you ment, just shut your fuckking mouth.

    • Jens Holm

      We do get information from many sources and dont get BBC worse then others.

      Today the news in Denmark was, that Syria only are nr 7 in killed journalist after being nr 1. We also saw the many bombardments by RuAF and SyAF.

      So we get news and can get them from many sources.

      Fx I am right here as well as at several others. We only have lack of true non censured news. Hard to get even using filters for every comment.

  • WinstonSmith

    Where’s the political whore, as Kim Jong un aptly called her, Haley crying and screaming her support for Syrians protesting against “moderate” al-Qaeda/ISIS jihadists that want to rule them?

    • Icarus Tanović

      Great, question.
      Did he really called herthat way?

    • dutchnational

      Is says enough about you, quoting this guy as a relevant source. A compliment in a way.

  • Cheryl Brandon

    So, the vast majority of civilians want to join up SAA? I could see that , did not go down well with the criminals?JAA/HTS. Idiots?

    • dutchnational

      Sure they want. That is why all (as in most) young males have fled assadist areas and Syria has forced conscription at gunpoint. Once conscripted, you only get out in a bodybag, which is why SAA numbers keep falling.