ISIS jihadists sent from Syria to Libya

A deserted member of the so-called Syrian National Army commanded by Turkey tells how ISIS jihadists are sent from Turkey to Libya.

Aras Hadj Ali, a former militiaman of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA), who surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has made an exclusive statement to ANF about his experiences with the mercenaries of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) who have been used by Turkey as occupation forces.

Aras Hadj Ali comes from the village of Cewzat near Dirbêsiyê in the Cizîrê region. In October 2018 he goes to the Turkish occupied al-Bab city together with a friend. He says that he has escaped the military service of the democratic autonomous administration and wants to go to Turkey. However, he falls into the hands of Turkish militias. First he is assigned to the Liwa Nureddin militia of Furqat al Hamza, then he takes part in the invasion of Serêkaniyê (Ral al-Ain) as a member of the Sultan Murad Brigade. There he manages to escape and surrenders to the SDF on 27 April 2020. He reports in detail about his experiences in al-Bab and Serêkaniyê.

Regarding the preparations for the invasion of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), he tells: "They prepared for the invasion and sent the units for training. They always kept me near them anyway. At that time the number of soldiers was decreasing and they wanted me to join them. They assigned me to serve at a checkpoint. The preparations were almost complete. The brigade commanders brought the members of the militias together and held meetings with us. They told us that ‘Turkey will give you little money, but don't be sad, anything you find you can take. Take what you see. Leave nothing behind, have no mercy’."

Even windows and doors stolen

Ali says the following about his experiences in Serêkaniyê: "I did not see everything, but even what I saw was very bad. The people from Serêkaniyê fled to Hesekê for fear of the militias. The militias stole everything from their houses. They even took doors and windows."

Kurds targeted in particular

Ali also tells about the fate of the people who remained in Serêkaniyê: "Everything was taken from the people who stayed there, including their vehicles. There were perhaps seven or eight Kurdish families there. They were old people. Massive pressure was exerted against them. I know of a house where the generators and everything else were stolen. Since I am a Kurd myself, there were always conflicts between me and the other militiamen. They kept saying: ‘We are here to fight against the Kurds’. Those who tried to return from Hesekê to Serêkaniyê were arrested and beaten. It was claimed that they had connections with the SDF or the autonomous administration, they were released only for ransom. All these groups engaged in theft. In this respect, there was no difference between any of them. They took things from the houses in Serêkaniyê and resold them. When the owners came back, they even sold them their own houses. There is neither life nor stability in Serêkaniyê."

ISIS members to Libya

Ali reports that ISIS jihadists are present in all militias of the so-called Syrian National Army, saying: "At least one in three of them is from the ISIS. I have spoken to two of these IS members and listened to their stories. I met one of them in al-Bab, a week before I went to Serêkaniyê. His name was Alaadin Ahmed Kero. He told me himself that he was with the ISIS. He said he was a commander in Raqqa. Afterwards he went to the FSA area and was captured by Ahrar al-Sharqiya. There he was ransomed and recruited by Furqat al-Hamza. When I was in Serêkaniyê, I learned that he had been sent to Libya. Another was a member of Suqour al-Shamal. He was stationed near our checkpoint at al-Bab and came from Hama. His name was Husain Muhammed. He tried to desert and was thrown into prison. The Turks know all this. Like Alaadin Ahmed Kero, many ISIS members of FSA groups were sent to Libya and killed there."

At least 300 militiamen transferred from Serêkaniyê to Libya

Ali further tells the following: "I fled from Serêkaniyê on April 27 and surrendered to the SDF. I can testify that at least three hundred members of the militia from Serêkaniyê were sent to Libya. I have heard that about 4,000 or 5,000 people have been sent to Libya from the al-Bab region. They talked to them there. They volunteered, but the majority of them were killed there. Commanders who went to Libya received about $7,000. The regular fighters got less. A group from our brigade also went to Libya. One of them was my friend's brother. His name was Ahmet Ibrahim Muhammed. A short time later, he was killed at an airport. His body was sent to Serêkaniyê. He was from Serêkaniyê anyway. The majority of those who went to Libya were killed."