Protesters in northern Syria: The people want the downfall of al-Jolani

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

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Cities and towns in northwestern Syria witnessed demonstrations carrying demands for the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which holds military control in Idlib, rejecting its policies and monopoly over decision-making.

Correspondents of Enab Baladi in northern Syria reported that demonstrations took place in Idlib, Binnish, Ariha, Jisr al-Shughour, Taoum, Taftanaz, Sarmada, Kafr Takharim, al-Atarib, Azaz, al-Bab, and Afrin after Friday prayers today, March 8, following calls by activists who have been organizing the movement for two weeks.

The demonstrators called for the resignation of al-Jolani, the cessation of injustice, tyranny, and the monopolization of decisions and the dissolution of the Public Security Apparatus.

The protesters vowed to continue their movement until their demands are met, denouncing the policies of Tahrir al-Sham which they described as resembling the Syrian regime and its security branches.

For two weeks, various cities and towns in northern Syria have witnessed similar demonstrations in a continuous peaceful movement led by activists and civilians, which came after the revelation of torture practices that detainees inside the prisons of the HTS were subjected to, and a case of killing and concealment of fate (revealed later) of a military faction member by Tahrir al-Sham.

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib – March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

The HTS and its political umbrella, the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG), launched several promises and reforms, including a general amnesty with conditions and exceptions, forming committees to listen to the locals, and canceling fees on buildings and exempting part of them under conditions, but that did not prevent the outbreak of demonstrations.

The Minister of Interior in the Salvation Government, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, said that the ministry released 420 prisoners, pursuant to the amnesty decree, promising the release of other numbers covered by the amnesty.

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib – March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

On March 7, the HTS announced the release of the second man in the faction, Abu Maria al-Qahtani, after a six-month detainment on charges related to “treason.”

The Salvation Government controls 11 ministries and, administratively and service-wise, oversees life in the province of Idlib and northern Hama countryside, and part of the western Aleppo countryside, while Tahrir al-Sham indirectly controls the area economically and service-wise. This has been accompanied by accusations that the HTS stands behind many projects described as “monopolistic.”

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib – March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Researchers in “jihadist” groups consider that Tahrir al-Sham is facing a pivotal turning point after its model distinguished by security control and central leadership fell, and that the security work of the HTS turned out to be mere “human slaughterhouses” run by a “Mafia gang,” and the central leadership is just a media halo whose prestige has fallen and trust in it has vanished in the face of its first test in this internal crisis (treason file).

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib - March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

Protesters demand the downfall of Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in al-Atarib – March 8, 2024 (Al-Atarib Media Office)

 

 

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