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Syria, HTS takes control of Jindires in Aleppo
HTS takes control of Jindires in Aleppo. Al Qaeda-affiliated group takes over pro-Turkey Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah militias in Afrin, that committed crimes against Kurds, and extends influence beyond Idlib
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takes over from the pro-Turkey militia, Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah, in Afrin (Aleppo). The group close to al Qaeda took control of the rival formation’s headquarters in the Jindires district after the latter’s withdrawal and without encountering resistance. The cause seems to be the killing in cold blood and without any reason of some Kurds who were celebrating Nowruz. The action sparked strong indignation and anger from the population, who threatened to brandish weapons to punish the crime. Furthermore, HTS intervened, at the request of local civilians, moving towards Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah. The pro-Ankara militiamen, weaker than their adversaries, chose to leave the area immediately, retreating elsewhere in the province, in exchange for a safe conduct. In control of Jindires, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham strengthens and extends his influence in the quadrant outside of Idlib.