The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR reveals | The Iraqi battalion of ISIS members working for “Ahrar Al-Sharqiayyah” and Turkish intelligence

Very reliable sources have provided the Syrian Observatory with detailed information about a battalion which comprises tens  ISIS members. The battalion, which operates under the banner of “Ahrar Al-Sharqiyyah” and works for the Turkish intelligence, consists of nearly 40 Iraqi fighters.

According to SOHR sources, the battalion works in northern Syria with a task of carrying out executions and detonations. In addition, they are specifically tasked with spy on ISIS foreign members who try to flee to the Turkish territory and the undercover members in Aleppo countryside, so that the battalion can arrest them. Some of those arrested ISIS members were imprisoned or executed, while others were taken to Turkey in return for large sums of money. Reliable SOHR sources confirmed that those members in prisons have been compromised in order to be sent to fight in Libya.

The headquarters of the battalion, which is led by a person known as (Abu Waqqas Al-Iraqi), is in Al-Bab city in north-eastern Aleppo. A notorious prison belonging to the battalion is also located in the area. It is worth noting that Al-Iraqi used to travel comfortably between Turkey and Aleppo countryside. Al-Iraqi appeared in a picture taken in the Turkish state of Urfah documenting his meeting with Abu Osama Al-Tayanah, an ISIS commander.

Reliable sources have informed SOHR that Abu Waqqas has been laying low for nearly two months, while it is not known whether he has involved in military operations in Libya on the side of the “Government of National Accord”, or travelled to Egypt with large sums of money in his possession, like Abu Hudhayfah Al-Hamawi did. Abu Hudhayfah, a former commander in “Ahrar Al-Sham”, fled to Egypt after stealing large sums of money from “Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah” when the formation was established and joined “Ahrar Al-Sham movement” at that time.

“The Iraqi battalion recently transported prisoners from its prison in Al-Bab to Idlib city, where a commander in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham known as (Abu Ali Al-Iraqi) has received them. It is worth noting that (Belal Al-Shawashi Al-Tunsi, Abu Al-Waleed Al-Tunsi and Abu Osama Al-Iraqi) as well as other Egyptians were among the prisoners who have been transported to Idlib. All of these prisoners who have been taken to Idlib are ISIS commanders. The battalion also established another headquarters recently in Al-Bab city,” SOHR sources added.

Moreover, the Iraqi battalion used to bury people it killed in a mass grave on the outskirts of Susanbat village on the road between Al-Bab and Al-Ra’i in the north-eastern countryside of Aleppo. SOHR has obtained information about the fact that this battalion has killed nearly 300 civilians, combatants and ISIS members buried in the battalion’s mass grave in Aleppo.

On January 16, 2020, Thabet Al-Hwaysh, a security official in Ahrar Al-Sharqiyyah, was killed in a car-bomb explosion in Sluk town in northern Al-Raqqah. Al-Hwaysh was the one responsible for transferring money to Abu Waqqas Al-Iraqi from Al-Bab city to Turkey, during the period when Abu Waqqas was in Turkey.