ISIS members with the badges of FSA and the SNA
ISIS members participated in the occupation of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî under the Turkish flag and in the uniform of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA). Meanwhile, they no longer consider it necessary to hide their identity.
Since 2016 Turkey has organized members of the "Islamic State" (ISIS) in the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA). When the occupation operation of the Northern Syrian region of Shehba was launched from Jarablus on August 24, 2016, numerous ISIS jihadists from Jarablus, Akhtarin, Mare and Azaz cut off their hair and beards and put on uniforms of the Turkish state-controlled FSA. In the course of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) offensive to liberate Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, tens of thousands of ISIS members moved to Turkey and the Turkish-occupied territories in northeastern Syria. These jihadists were also placed in FSA ranks by the Turkish state. When the occupation of Afrin began on January 20, 2018, the Islamists in the FSA no longer considered it necessary to camouflage themselves by trimming their beards. The Turkish state had meanwhile completely transformed the FSA into a jihadist army.
Some of the ISIS members participating in the occupation operation in Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) launched by the Turkish state on 9 October in the ranks of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) no longer consider camouflage necessary. Although the Turkish secret service has warned them several times, jihadists of the FSA and SNA eagerly share photos from their time with the "Islamic State" and spread propaganda for the ISIS on the social media.
Below are details of some of the ISIS members who have participated as "FSA" or "SNA" in the occupation of Afrin and Serêkaniyê:
Ahmed Abud: The 33-year-old is known as Abu Shihab. He belongs to the al-Khalahi tribe and comes from Mayadin in Deir ez-Zor. In 2014 he joined the ISIS in Mayadin. Two years ago he moved to the Turkish-occupied territories in
Shehba and joined the Jaysh al-Sharqiya militia, which consists almost entirely of ISIS members. He participated in the Turkish occupation operation in Afrin and was particularly active in the fighting in Jindires. Now he has participated in the occupation of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî and has been appointed by the Turkish state to the General Command of the Jaysh al-Sharqiya units stationed in the two cities.
Abu Ahmed al-Khureshi: The Islamist belongs to the Qaraani tribe and comes from the village al-Quriyah in Deir ez-Zor. In the SNA he is known as Abu Jasim, while he was called Abu Ahmed al-Khureshi in the ISIS. He is married and has three children. At the beginning of the Syrian Civil War he joined the Faruk Battalion. When the ISIS appeared in the region, he became a member and worked as a military instructor for the ISIS in al-Baraka in Hesekê. His emir at that time was Abu Jandal al-Belchiki. Later he himself became the military emir of several road checkpoints of the ISIS. During his time in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo he participated in all combat operations.
In 2017, al-Khureshi moved to the Turkish-occupied territories in Shehba through the mediation of the ISIS military intelligence service. His cousin was the emir of the Isud al-Sharqiye militia in Idlib. He himself joined this group, participated actively in the occupation of Serêkaniyê and continues to stay there. Abu Ahmed al-Khureshi uses a Facebook account called Anas Khalil, where he also shared photos from his time within the ISIS.
Mihammed al-Debas: This jihadist was born in 1988 and comes from the neighborhood of al-Katif in al-Bukemal district in Deir ez-Zor. Before the beginning of the Syrian civil war, he had earned his living as a vegetable merchant. In 2013 he joined the Al-Nusra front in al-Bukemal. When Deir ez-Zor fell under the rule of the "Islamic State", al-Debas moved to the ISIS and moved to Idlib six months later. There he joined al-Nusra again. In 2015 he went to Turkey under the aegis of Al-Nusra commander Xizhil and returned from there to Idlib. In 2015, he participated in military training in Jordan and, after his return, joined a group controlled by the Turkish state. With this group he participated in the occupation of Afrin. He participated in the invasion of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî in the ranks of the Sultan Murad Brigade set up by the Turkish secret service. He continues to live in the area.
Ahmed Adnan al-Rahwmi: The jihadist was born in al-Bukemal in Deir ez-Zor in 1998 and was a construction worker there. He joined the ISIS in 2014. In the "Islamic State" he was accused of theft and fled with his family to Turkey at the end of 2014. When the Turkish state set up the "Euphrates Shield" units within Turkey for the occupation operation in Shehba, he joined them there. He participated in the occupation of Afrin in 2018, and in the invasion of Girê Spî and Serêkaniyê as a member of the Sultan Murad Brigade in October 2019.
Suud Ghayeb al-Rakkad: The Islamist from the village of Na'ur near Til Kocher in the Dêrik region is known as Selil Shammar al-Shammari and uses this name on Facebook. He belongs to the Shammar tribe. He joined the FSA in Til Kocher at the beginning of the Syrian civil war, and became a member of ISIS in early 2014. He was a military commander of the ISIS in Hol. After about a year he went to Turkey. There he joined "Euphrates Shield" units of the FSA. In 2018 he participated in the invasion of Afrin. He actively participated in the invasion of Serêkaniyê, which started on 9 October, as a member of the Ahrar al-Sharqiya. His brother Faysal Ghayip al-Rakkad is also a member of this militia. He himself is in Mabruka at the moment.
Ahmed Abu Qutada: The jihadist comes from Saliya district of Deir ez-Zor and was active in ISIS in 2017. He is now a member of Ahrar al-Sharqiya, which is controlled by the Turkish state, and has been recognized in a video published by himself during the occupation attack on Siluk near Girê Spî.