Risks in the Expansion by HTS, Classified as a Terrorist Entity by UNSC Resolutions, Over About 560 Square Kilometers in the Past Few Days

Any Provision of Support to or Coordination with HTS Exposes the Provider to the Risk of Terrorist Classification by the UNSC

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Paris – Syrian Network for Human Rights:

First: HTS (An-Nusra Front) controls large areas previously controlled by armed opposition factions/the Syrian National Army:

On October 11, 2022, the Third Legion took control of the headquarters of the Hamza Brigade, known as “al-Hamzat” (one of the Syrian National Army’s factions) in al-Bab city; this followed the Hamza Brigade’s involvement in the killing of media activist Muhammad Abu Ghannoum, and his pregnant wife. Hay’at Tahrir al Shaam (HTS, formerly known as Al-Nusra Front) took advantage of this conflict among the Syrian National Amy’s forces to launch a large-scale military offensive aimed at expanding its areas of control at the expense of the areas controlled by armed opposition factions (consisting mainly of the Third Legion and the National Front for Liberation and Construction, both part of the Syrian National Army). It seems that HTS has been preparing to seize control of new areas at the expense of the armed opposition factions since the failure of its last attack last September. This indicates the size of the attacks and the level of expansion of the areas under HTS’ control.

HTS launched its offensive from several points within areas already under its control, the most important of which are the town of Atma in the suburbs of Idlib governorate and the towns of Ghazawiya, and Deir al Ballout in Jabal Sam’an in western Aleppo governorate. The military operations between the opposition factions and HTS extended to large areas of the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate. The HTS military operation, which has lasted since 12 December up until the moment of preparing this statement, led to the group controlling large areas of the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate, estimated at about 560 km2 in total, including dozens of villages and districts, the most important of which are Afrin city and Jendeires town, and the villages of Ein Dara, Qerzaihel, Babilit and Me’rata, with the group also attempting to take over Kafr Janneh town in the Azaz district of the northern suburbs of Aleppo.

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