Home Human Rights Journalism Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Execute Two Persons and Arrest Others in Dana City- Idlib

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Execute Two Persons and Arrest Others in Dana City- Idlib

The Incident Took Place Following Many Explosions and After Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Imposed Curfew in the City

by wael.m
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In May and early June 2018, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham[1] (HTS) executed two persons and arrested others in Dana city located in Idlib, on charges of links to the Islamic State organization (ISIS). The incident occurred after a series of bombings hit the city, followed by curfew imposed by elements of HTS and the occurrence of other explosions after the curfew, local sources confirmed to STJ.

On 19 May, HTS had executed four persons in Idlib city for the same charge and launched a campaign of arrests. STJ published at the time a special report on the incident entitled "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Carries Out Storming Campaign Following the Execution of Four Persons in Idlib".

Tawfeeq al-Mohammed[2], a resident from Dana, said in an interview with STJ on June 12, that "HTS executed by shooting dead two unidentified persons at Tal al-Karama Junction in Tell Aqabrin area.

 "We woke up in the morning and found out that HTS had executed extrajudicially two men at Tell al-Karama Junction, located near the car maintenance workshops that were closed at the moment of implementing the execution. We saw the elements who were still deployed in the site, but none of us dared to enquire about the identities of the two persons nor to approach them. The elements said that the two men were responsible for planting improvised explosive devices IED." Tawfeeq added.

The witness ruled out the possibility that the two executed men were natives from Dana.

On the other hand, one of the residents of Dana, who refused to disclose his identity for security purpose, said on June 12, 2018, in an interview with STJ that HTS started raid and arrest campaigns in the city on May 28, 2018, and cut off the Internet service from the city partially, and could therefore arrest several people.

"We could not know the number of detainees or their Identities nor the charges against them, but elements of HTS announced that it had arrested a cell responsible for explosions and planting IED but it not disclose their identities." He added.

The raids were accompanied by a curfew imposed by HTS in the city, which lasted from the dawn of May 28, 2018 until the noon time. Ibaa News Agency loyal to HTS broadcasted a video footage concerning the curfew. 

In the same context, Tawfeeq al-Muhammad, the witness added,

"During the curfew, we did not hear any shooting nor explosions, and we knew not what happened outside. This operation was not the only one in May, because Dana city and its outskirts in the northern neighborhood had already witnessed two raids; in the first campaign, they announced the murder of a fighter of the Islamic State organization (ISIS) and the arrest of some persons on charges of affiliation to ISIS."

STJ was unable to ascertain the circumstances of the arrests nor to verify the identities of those who have been executed extrajudicially, or whether they were actually affiliated with ISIS or have carried out bombings in Idlib.

However, the execution along with the curfew did not halt the bombing operations in the city. Several other explosions did occurred with no clear reasons- by car bombs- in Dana city according to the Syrian Civil Defense; four doubled explosions took place by a car bomb and an IED in the city injuring four volunteers and a civilian man on May 30, 2018 (two days after the curfew). Moreover, an IED exploded at the Industry School on May 29 injuring a civil defense volunteer. Besides local news agencies have reported earlier from local activists that an explosion occurred in the Industry School on May 25, after a person blew himself up in the school, which was a headquarter for HTS. Four fighters were killed.


[1] January 28, 2017, Several jihadist factions in northern Syria announced the merger under the name “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-HTS”, they are: Fateh al-Sham Front- formerly al-Nusra Front, Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, Liwaa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Din Front, Jaysh al-Sunna and Ansar al-Sham al-Islamiyya. However, at the background of the recent outbreak of confrontations between HTS and Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya in the north of Syria on July 15, 2017, Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement announced its separation from HTS on July 20, 2017

[2] An alias for a media activist in the city.

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