المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

After smuggling 142 of ISIS families to Turkey, new families were preparing to cross the border with 22 fighters of an SDF battalion are arrested after clashes

Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Syrian Observatory for Human Right received information from several reliable sources about clashes took place in Manbij city during the last 48 hours, accompanied by arrests of military personnel in the city located in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: security forces of the Asayish, intelligence, and Manbij Military Council raided houses during the past 48 hours in Manbij city, and clashes took place between the raiders and between members of Zaza Battalion which fights under the banner of SDF, where this battalion includes fighters mostly from the countryside of Aleppo Province, who had smuggled members of the “Islamic State” Organization and their families from Baghuz area and the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, and drove them to Manbij city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, in preparation for transferring them to the Turkish territory in exchange for money from ISIS members and families, and reliable sources confirmed that clashes took place between members of the battalion and the raids after which 22 members of the battalion were arrested, and members of the Organization were also arrested with number of their families during these raids in Manbij, they were taken to detention centers.

The Syrian Observatory learned that in recent weeks, the Zaza Battalion had smuggled members of the “Islamic State” Organization from Baghuz area and its farms, towards the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas, then they shaved their beards and clothed them in civilian clothing to be transported to the Iraqi territories, but the Iraqi intelligence was able to arrest and transfer them to their detention centers, where they were more than 350 ISIS members, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 28th of February 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from several reliable sources, that the leadership of Syria Democratic Forces began to tighten the inspection process on the military checkpoints within their controlled areas stretching from Manbij to the Syrian-Iraqi border, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: SDF deployed military police forces to the majority of their checkpoints east of Euphrates area and Manbij area on the west bank of Euphrates River, especially those scattered on the roads from Deir Ezzor and Baghuz farms to Manbij and areas of control of “Euphrates Shield” Operation Forces in the northeastern sector of Aleppo countryside, where the deployment process and tightening the inspection on the military checkpoints especially for the military vehicles; came after  the Syrian Observatory published a report about smuggling operations and networks of smugglers transporting members, leaders, and their families to the Turkish territory, where the Syrian Observatory published during the last 24 hours that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from several reliable sources about the continuous transfers of members of the “Islamic State” Organization, from their areas of presence in Deir Ezzor countryside, to areas controlled by the Turkey-Supported “Euphrates Shield” operation forces, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: tens of families have left the farms where the “Islamic State” Organization exists between al-Baghuz area and the east bank of Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, towards areas controlled by “Euphrates Shield” operation forces in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, and the Syrian Observatory learned that the number of Families have reached more than 142 families until the 27th of February 2019, who paid huge amount of money in order to reach the Turkish territory through a network of smugglers, and this network includes tens of members of the Syria Democratic Forces and “Euphrates Shield” forces, as well as civilians work as smugglers, where the reliable sources confirmed that the highest amount of money paid for smuggling was about 90000$ US dollars; to transport a non-Syrian family from the east of Euphrates farms towards the Turkish territory.

The reliable sources confirmed that the smuggling network had transported antiquities, families, and members of the “Islamic State” Organization, while the intelligence of SDF and the Syria Democratic Forces carried out a security operation and arrested more than 120 of its members, in addition to tens of civilians who are working in the network, and they were transferred to intelligence headquarters for interrogation, and the Syrian Observatory learned that smuggling was carried out through military vehicles; and that some members exploited their influence and smuggled ISIS members and their families of non-Syrian nationalities towards areas controlled by “Euphrates Shield” Operation forces to be transported towards the Turkish territories but some are trying to reach Idlib province, they are the Syrian families who want to get out of the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas not to be arrested, because some of them are affiliated to the Organization when it used to control the east Euphrates area, also the Syrian Observatory learned that a number of the detainees of members of these networks had in their possessions gold, US dollars, cars, and vehicle they seized.

The Syrian Observatory published previously that as the final long scene of the existence of ISIS east of Euphrates almost ended, the future scenarios follow in front of the world, which does not care to the future of the area. And while the rest of ISIS members and leaders are waiting to surrender or to be eliminated if they continue to refuse to surrender, many hypotheses and questions still pose themselves on the scene, with the American insistence on leaving the east of Euphrates area and withdrawing their military forces from it, the fate is still unknown for ISIS members, who are more than 8000 members and leaders in the prisons and jails of the Syria Democratic Forces, of Syrian, Arab, regional, Moroccan, Asian, and western nationalities, where reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that the refusal of their countries to take them or receive them puts the case in a closed box, where the Syria Democratic Forces has no ability to issue execution rules or lengthy sentences, at a time where there is no enough prisons equipped to serve the penalties, also the instability of the area makes the situation even worse, due to the Turkish threats of a military operation east of Euphrates, and while the public opinion talks about the foreign members; the media is forgetting more than 5000 members of the Syrian Forces, where releasing them may turn most of them to sleeper cells, and keeping them in detention is a ticking time bomb.

The Syrian Observatory learned that some of those who fled the enclave of the organization, and while being transported to Al-Omar Oilfield and before being sorted out into camps, pay large sums of money in order to get out to areas such as Al-Busayrah, Theban and Gharanij, where sums of money exceed $ 10,000 are paid for fear of being arrested when they reach the camps into which they are sorted out, and the sources suggested that in most cases, ISIS members and families of ISIS members are the ones who pay such sums of money, where they pay them to the parties that are responsible for the transport to the camps from Al-Omar Oilfield, the reliable sources also confirmed that a batch of those who were in the enclave of the organization at the eastern banks of the river, have fled towards the west of the Euphrates River.

Also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained information from several cross intersected sources, confirming that the overwhelming majority of those who fled the enclave of the “Islamic State” Organization and arrived the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas in Deir Ezzor countryside, have carried large amounts of money varied according to people, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the majority of those who came out of the enclave of the “Islamic State” Organization, who reached thousands of people in the past days, they had insane amounts of money, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the money was mostly US dollars, and each person had between $100 thousand and $500 thousand USD, while the Iraqis who fled the enclave had at least $300 thousand USD, and little amounts of Syrian currency were found in their possession estimated by about tens of thousands of Syrian pounds, and most of the times did not exceed 50 thousand Syrian pounds.

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