The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Political timing frees the Japanese Yasuda and keeps the south African Shiraz in the grip of his captors within areas of the “jihadi groups”

The 10th of January, 2017, an armed group kidnaps a non-Syrian-nationality journalist along with Syrians gunmen from Idlib countryside, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the journalist Shiraz Mohamed, who is from South Africa and nearly 40 years of age, and he is still detained since the above-mentioned date by unknown gunmen in area believed to be the western sector of Idlib countryside, in which the Asian “jihadi” groups of Uzbek, Turkestan, Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) are spread, and the sources confirmed that the journalist Shiraz had entered Syria accompanied by a relief organization affiliated to the Sunni endowment in South Africa, and supports the Mercy Hospital in Darkush area in the northwestern countryside of Jisr al-Shughur, within the western countryside of Idlib province, to cover its humanitarian work inside Syria.

The sources informed the Syrian Observatory that the kidnapping was carried out by gunmen in two cars on the road from Darkush to al-Jamiliyyeh area, while the South African journalist was heading to the Turkish territory accompanied by guards of al-Rahma hospital in Darkush, where the kidnappers released the abductees except Shiraz Mohammed, who has been abducted since the beginning of 2017. The sources confirmed that this area is controlled by Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkestan, the Uzbeks, and the Asian fighters, who take al-Zanbaqi area as a place of their residence, they also formed a courthouse and executive authority, while the kidnapped persons who were with Shiraz -after their release- demanded Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham to reveal the fate of the journalist, but Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham denied its relation with the kidnapping, and threatened those who accused it.

Shiraz Mohammed is believed to have been transferred from al-Zanbaqi area to an unknown area under the control of “jihadi factions”, while a relief organization reduced its support to al-Rahma Hospital after the kidnapping incident, protested against this matter, amid dissatisfaction among the people who receive treatment in the hospital; of this kidnapping through which the kidnappers aim to obtain large ransom for the release of the journalist.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 23rd of October 2018 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from a number of reliable sources, about the handover of the Japanese journalist, Jumpei Yasuda, who was kidnapped several years ago in Syria, and in the details that the sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, the journalist, Yasuda, was released after he was handed over by the party that kidnapped him, to a military faction close to the Turkish authorities and operating on the Syrian territory, where he was handed over by the kidnappers who were holding him in the western sector of Idlib countryside, since he was kidnapped in 2015, by Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in the Levant), then he was handed over to Hurras al-Dien organization, after that he was handed over to a Syrian Emir of the Islamic Party of Turkestan in the area of Kherbet Eljoz.

The reliable sources confirmed that the deal of handing over the journalist, was carried out under a Qatari – Turkish sponsorship, amid information about paying a ransom in return for the release of the journalist, and the sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the journalist was handed over 4 days ago, but a political timing has been chosen to announce the release of the Japanese journalist, Jumpei Yasuda, who entered the Syrian territory on the 2015, and several persons were mediated to get large sums of money in return for releasing him, despite Japan’s rejection to pay such sums of money for fear of being considered as “a supporter to the terrorist organizations”