The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Rejecting HTS domination over Idlib | Activists launch “Green Idlib” campaign

Syrian Journalists and activists in Idlib city have launched a campaign on social media dubbed “Green Idlib” with Hashtag “023”, the city’s code number for landline telephones. The campaign aims to reject the rule of Jihadist groups, mainly Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).


A female journalist, one of the campaign founders, told SOHR “I came up with this idea after an armed group of Uzbeks stormed Idlib city museum on June12 and destroyed some antique paintings, which ignited popular anger, as they are trying through such barbarian acts to erase the history and identity of Idlib and turn it into a dark blackly place.”


The journalist added “the campaign’s objectives includes the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience held in HTS prisons, rejection of the crackdown against press and media and stifling voices policy which HTS and other Jihadist groups are  practicing in Idlib.


In an interview with a participant journalist in the campaign, he told SOHR “our target is to express our rejection to the disastrous situation on ground which radical groups have imposed on the town, which has ruined Idlib image to the world, and to assure that Idlib has been known since decades for its green spaces, and friendly locals who reject any sort of fanaticism or radicalism. Idlib used to be an example for the peaceful coexistence for all Syrian people from different communities, ethnicities and sects, but these radical groups set themselves up forcefully on Idlib”.”


The journalist confirmed that the “Green Idlib“ campaign also aims to express how pure and kind people in Idlib are, and to warn against these radical groups which wreak havoc to any place they settle in. “Idlib city has been under attack since the beginning of Syrian revolution under the excuse of presence of Jihadi radical groups such as HTS“. he said.


The journalist appeals to all Idlib people, including journalists and residents to join this campaign to show the world the sufferings of the people of Idlib caused by the practices of such radical groups and ask them to face and resist such groups and try to end their presence in Idlib.


It is worth mentioning that this campaign was launched by journalists, mostly live abroad, while some Syrian domestic activists took part in the campaign under nicknames for fear of arrest by HTS security services.


In a survey by SOHR covered people living in the HTS-controlled areas, it was found that the percentage of HTS supporters does not exceed 5% , who are just the beneficiaries from the crossings and collecting levies from refugees and displaced people, while the rest of the residents are ruled by HTS heavy-handed tactics and treatment and have nothing to do with such situation.


HTS and some proxy groups, such as the Turkistan Islamic party, Ansaar al-Tawheed and the Uzbeks, control Idlib city and its countryside and parts of the western countryside of Aleppo, after it eliminated several armed opposition factions in 2018.