Jesr Press newspaper reported on Wednesday that members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) murdered a young man last Monday in Idlib province for not paying a tax of 140$ in the village of Msibien near the city of Ariha, southern Idlib.
The newspaper said that heavy gunfire was heard in the village and, after investigating into the incident, it turned out that it was of gunfire resulted in killing one civilian by an HTS security unit.
Citing what it described as a “special” source in the village, the newspaper reported that members of HTS broke into a store, specialized in construction materials, in order to collect taxes from shops and homes owned by pro-regime individuals and considered by HTS as “money to look after Muslims’ affairs.”
Jisr Press reported that the security unit shot four bullets at the civilian, Ahmad Aggeh, after he refused to pay the tax and tore up the paycheck.
The newspaper added that members of HTS strive to prevent publishing the details of the incident, trying to go to what they called “a Shari’a Court” to decide the case.
Verify platform reached out to the uncle of the late young man, to the Ariha hospital, where the late was transferred, and to two field activists through its reported. They all confirmed that a car accident caused his death, not gunfire as Jesr Press claimed.
“My nephew passed away because of a car accident on Ariha-Msibien road,” Ahmad Aggeh’s uncle told Verify platform. “The persons who caused his death is arrested by the Security Committee in Ariha.”
“The late young man Ahmad Aggeh arrived to the hospital with bruises on his head and chest, and a broken knee. Our responders tried to revive him, but he was already dead,” a medical source at the Ariha hospital said. “Gunshots wounds weren’t found on his body.”
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) dominates most of Idlib province. It has a long record of violations against civilians. On September 12, members of HTS shot at media activist Mohammad Gadan in Jabal al-Zawiah near the village of Mhambel, southern Idlib, wounding him in the belly; HTS then abducted him.