At the early hours of November 23, unknown gunmen assassinated a prominent Syrian opposition activist, Raed Fares, along with his colleague, Hammoud al-Junaid, in the middle of the town of Kafr Nabl in the southern Idlib countryside.
Fares was the director of Union of Revolutionary Bureaus (URP), while al-Junaid worked as a cameraman for the same organization. Previously, Fares founded the pro-opposition Fresh radio station, which podcasts from Idlib.
Several pro-opposition activists accused Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria] of assassinating Fares and his colleague. According to the activists, Feras is well known for his stand against the radical group. HTS’ security forces reportedly arrested and tortured Fares because of this two years ago.
The assassination of Fares is a new example of how HTS is taking advantage of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement on Idlib to expand its influence in the northern governorate by silencing anyone who oppose its will.