B.M., a former ISIS member worked in kidnapping, looting, and extortion and joined the Turkey-loyal “National Army” in “Peace Spring” • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

B.M., a former ISIS member worked in kidnapping, looting, and extortion and joined the Turkey-loyal “National Army” in “Peace Spring”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

November 2019

As part of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ work to document data and information about the former members of the “Islamic State” Organization who joined the ranks of the so-called Turkey-loyal Syrian National Army, the Syrian Observatory obtained new information about a former member of the organization called B.M., who is from palmyra in Homs province and was born in 1984.

According to sources of the Syrian Observatory, “the aforementioned has several talents and allegiance, where he joined the revolution at the beginning of 2012 and enlisted in al-Faruq Brigades its HQ was Uqayribat, then he defected and joined al-Faruq Islamic Brigades in 2013, where the Syrian Observatory obtained several audio recordings and photographs showing the stages of his movement between different allegiances, Organizations, and factions, the reliable sources continued: “B.M. continued his career in the ranks of the “Islamic State” Organization in Homs Desert sector with its Emir, Abu Aweed, until the death of Abu Aweed in the 6th month of 2014, then from 2016 until the beginning of the 4th month of 2018 he worked as an Emir in the Desert sector at Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, where he moved to the Syrian north and joined al-Hamza Division in the 5th month of 2018 with a group of his members; who have been with him since he joined Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, including T.T., A.SH., W.M., S.M., and KH.M., all of whom are now in al-Bab city.”

The sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that when B.M. was affiliated to “Ajnad al-Sham” from 2014 until the end of 2015 with his brother (S.M.), he worked to “secure the Islamic State Organization’s members who are coming from areas of Deir Ezzor, al-Raqqah, and Hasakah countryside, and protecting them and supervise their transit to Turkish territory in exchange for royalties and sabotage schemes when necessary, including ISIS fighters who oversaw their release from the prison and their delivery to Turkey such as L.A., TH.A. and K.A., who are now in Gaziantep, Turkey.”

The sources added: “the first of them of the military personnel who fought with ISIS from 2014 to the end of 2016 in palmyra and al-Raqqah, he is the brother of a member of the Islamic State organization who blew themselves up in 2 suicide bombings in the ranks of the Free Army in al-Bab city, he is known to be one of the most loyal supporter of ISIS on social media.”

Reliable sources indicated that B.M. and others stolen 8 funeral paintings from Palmyra orchards during their withdrawal on the 26th of July 2013, adding: “Among these paintings there was a statue of the Belle of Palmyra, which was placed in warehouses owned by one of the people participants in the robbery in Sarmada at the car gallery area, and another person called M.S. entered one of the mentioned statues to Reyhanli in Turkey, and he is now imprisoned in Mersin prison for the offence of drugs.”

The sources pointed out to the “Syrian Observatory” that “the mentioned one is cooperating with military person working in the desert sector in Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham and he lives Ma’arrat Mesrin, in smuggling and selling precious statues.” also the mentioned involved in kidnappings and extortions, where in December 2013, he kidnapped 3 western journalists including 1 French journalists and one Canadian, he hid them in Sarmada at the home of one of his aides, also his brother coordinated with the judge of “Shaheen” security prison of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham to assassinate leaders of the “National Army” of them.

The sources continued: “the audio clips in his cell phone saved by the faction (Sultan Murad Division) prove this, and he was arrested after that by Sultan Murad Division on the 24th of June 2017, he was charged with several offences, including the murder of civilians and planning assassination of leaders of the National Army, and his arrest continued for about a year, and he was released later, then the strange is the order of release of his brother as well, they joined al-Hamza Division, given the friendship he had with the faction leader since the days of (the Islamic State), then he became the chief of staff of the 2nd Division, even though his level of education was a 5th grade and her barely can read words.”

Regarding B.M.’s participation in the ranks of the National Army, reliable sources confirmed that “he was dismissed from al-Hamza division because of his violation, especially after the abduction of 3 civilians whose fate remains unknown until now, where the Media Authority in Palmyra issued a statement appealing to the so-called (Ministry of Interior and Defense) in the interim government to reveal the fate of 3 kidnapped people of the city, Mehran al-Mahmoud, Osama al-Hajj Ali, and Omar al-Qayyim, where  they accused B.M. of abducting them and demanded that the Interim Government arrest him and reveal the fate of the 3 abductees, but he was dismissed without accountability and continued to wreak havoc in the Syrian north, despite committing kidnappings and smuggling of precious relics and statues from Palmyra, and protecting security members of the (Islamic State) organization, and after being dismissed, he participated in the battle of the (Peace Spring) as a military commander with a group of fighters without following a particular faction, he captured several civilians in Ras al-Ayn, and there are videos showing his pride in capturing civilians and dealing with the civilian prisoners in a brutal way, he also has a video showing him thanking the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a kind of media propaganda and media promotion for himself.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights through revealing the details, data, and identities of former members of the “Islamic State” Organization who joined the Turkey-loyal factions within the so-called “Syrian National Army;” it calls on international organizations and the international community to put pressure on Turkey and act immediately to stop the bloodshed of Syrians, and not letting them at the mercy of former members who joined an internationally-classified terrorist organization, and the Syrian Observatory also calls on the international community, to press Turkey to stop abuses of the members of its loyal factions as the Turkish Forces, the defense minister, and the Turkish president are watching and hearing everything, and the Syrian Observatory warns that these violations are mainly aim to force the original people of the areas that were controlled by the Turkish Forces and their loyal factions to flee their areas, in order to bring about a demographic change in the area and to replace the original people with others loyal to Turkey, under the pretext of returning Syrian refugees in Turkey to the Syrian territory, noting that the Syrian Observatory uncovered and documented forced and voluntary returns from inside Syria to the north of Syria, the Syrian Observatory documented that the Turkey-loyal factions had opened the door to the citizens in their controlled areas in “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield” in order to move to the areas that they controlled with “Peace Spring” Operation.

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