Death and fear on the streets of Idlib

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group, which controls most part of the demilitarized zone in Idlib province in Syria, fully conforms to its internationally recognized status of a terrorist organization.  In fact, HTS members use two methods of pressure and influence on civilian population usually applied by terrorists: intimidating those who doubt and killing those who resist.

The commanders and spiritual leaders of HTS impose their criminal values to the citizens of Idlib, urging and forcing them to engage in illegal activities.  Those who disagree and express discontent are subject to severe persecution.  According to the report of Human Rights Watch, the militants regularly detain "undesirable persons" and everyone who opposes them.  The detainees are mistreated, tortured, and sentenced to death without evidence.  Terrorists do not provide a prisoner with a right to legal representation, nor do they give their victim a right of appeal.  The Syrian Network for Human Rights documented at least 184 cases of detention in the last three months alone.

It is also worth noting that HTS clashes with other radical groups often lead to civilian casualties as well.  There are multiple cases of children killed as a result of indiscriminate fire opened by the militants.  These crimes are regularly reported by the Jabhat Alnusra Violations Documentation Team.

At the same time, HTS representatives are trying to deny their criminal activity by all means, justifying the continuous shooting on the streets by the fight against ISIS and the illegal arrests and executions by the necessary elimination of ISIS accomplices.

However, reports of international human rights organizations and foreign observers, eyewitness accounts, and mass media publications of crimes committed by HTS suggest the opposite.  Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, just like any other terrorist organization, constitutes a direct threat to the civilian population of Idlib and therefore must be eliminated as soon as possible.