IDLIB – Protests continued in the Maarat al-Numan city in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province for the third consecutive day, where people expressed their anger with the practices of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front against civilians and moderate rebels, activists reported on Wednesday.
“The protesters demanded Nusra militants to withdraw from Maarat al-Nusma and the entire [Idlib] province,” Sarhan al-Muhammad, one of the organizers of anti-Nusra protests, told ARA News.
“Extremists of Nusra Front are trying to impose their regulations on the people of Maarat al-Numan and other areas of Idlib, besides excluding moderate rebel groups who are the real representatives of our revolution against Assad dictatorship,” al-Muhammad said.
“We won’t stop protesting against Nusra until it withdraws from the region completely,” he told ARA News. “People of Idlib will not accept radical ideologies like that of al-Qaeda of ISIS.”
Hundreds of people have been taking to the street in several areas of Idlib province since Monday, denouncing what they described “aggression of the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria) against civilians and moderate rebels”.
Local sources confirmed that angry protesters have broken into Nusra headquarters in the town of Maarat al-Numan and burned a few buildings earlier this week.
Speaking to ARA News in Maarat al-Numan, rights activist Samer Idlibi said that the protests broke out after the Nusra insurgents stormed headquarters of the Division 13— which operates under the banner of the Syrian Free Army (FSA)—where clashes claimed lives of dozens of fighters on both sides.
“Division 13 is an FSA group that is backed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and received U.S.-delivered TOW anti-tank rockets,” Nusra member Abu Saeed al-Holandi told ARA News in Idlib. The TOW-rockets played a major role in expelling the Syrian government from the province of Idlib.
Some of the Nusra headquarters were completely burned by the protesters. The Nusra insurgents had captured headquarters of Syrian rebels last week and raised their black banners on the buildings’ tops.
Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa
Source: ARA News
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