Syria: protests against HTS face repression in Idlib

Security forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Islamist militia that controls much of northwest Syria, put down protests that broke out in cities and towns across Idlib province on May 17. In the Idlib cities of Binnish and Jisr al-Shughour, HTS forces beat protesters with batons, deployed armored vehicles, and fired tear-gas and even live rounds to disperse demonstrations calling for the fall of the militia group and its leader, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani. Since then, HTS has increased security in the region, establishing checkpoints and roadblocks, especially aimed at preventing protesters from gathering in the provincial capital, Idlib City. Protests against HTS rule have been mounting in Syria's northwest since the start of the year. (Syria Direct, The New Arab)