In several areas of the two provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, eight civilians were killed, and 17 others were injured, including children, in the confrontations between Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham/HTS and various other military factions, which took place in the duration between the 1st and the 3rd of January, 2019, as the testimonies obtained by Syrians for Truth and Justice/STJ show.
In the city of Darat Izza, Aleppo, the local activist Ahmad al-Yousef told STJ’s filed researcher the following:
“On January 1, 2019, at 9 am sharp, the tempo of the confrontations between HTS and Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement started to escalate, for the first was trying to control the city, the al-Zenki was trying to combat it, being in control on the ground here. Bullet projectiles fell to the streets and on houses’ rooftops, while medium and heavy machinery were deployed during these clashes. We heard the sound of artillery shelling throughout the city. The random shootings resulted in the death of six people and the injury of 10 others in the city of Darat Izza alone, and the casualties are all civilians. At the end of the day, HTS controlled the whole city.”
The killed civilians in the city of Darat Izza are Mahmoud Jalou, a nurse, Bashar Atiyeh, Zakaraya Kannass, a child, Ayham al-Lawda’ami, Bashar Bitar, a child, and Ausama Tanno.
STJ’s field researcher in Idlib province reported that the confrontations expanded, reaching several regions in the province. This followed the National Front for Liberation’s participation in the fighting against HTS. The clashes covered regions starting from al-Ghab Plain to Shashabo Mountain, reaching the city of Saraqib and the border city of Atmeh.
The researcher added that in the morning of January 3, 2019, confrontations between HTS and the factions of the National Front for Liberation broke out in the south-eastern rural parts of Idlib. These confrontations’ stray bullets injured four civilians in the Khatib al-Ghadfeh camp, who are originally displaced from Sinjar region, and have been hurried to the hospital in the city of Maarrat al-Nu'man. In addition to this, the death of Mohammad Khajar al-Shaysh, a child displaced from the village of Qatra, eastern Idlib, was recorded, as he also died due to the confrontations’ bullets in the Marata camp, to the east of the Tell Mannas town.
On the same day, the stray bullets of the confrontations that broke out in Zawiya Mountain injured two children in the village of Sfuhen, whose names are Hamoud al-Mohammad, 10-year-old, and Hassan al-Slaiman, 12-year-old.
The stray bullets fell on the Deir Ballut camp due to the factions’ clashes near a hilltop close to the camp, causing the death of a civilian man, who was passing by the camp, and the injury of five other civilians of the camp’s displaced persons, a civilian man from the Deir Ballut camp told STJ.