Deserted SNA mercenary: Militias act on Turkey’s orders

Mueyed Ebo fled from the ranks of the occupation forces at Girê Spî and surrendered to the SDF with large quantities of weapons and ammunition. He could not reconcile himself to the actions of the militias with his conscience, Ebo now explains.

On October 9, 2019, the Turkish army began invading northern and eastern Syria together with a coalition of jihadists and right-wing extremists known as "SNA" (Syrian National Army). The invading troops, which were gathered from ISIS and al-Nusra terrorists, began to establish a reign of terror, driving out hundreds of thousands of people, looting their houses and apartments, torturing and murdering them. Thousands of tons of grain and food were looted and sold on the Turkish market.

A member of the "SNA", Mueyed Ebo, deserted on grounds of conscience and surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He now tells about his experiences with the so-called "Syrian National Army".

Terror from Idlib via Afrin to Girê Spî

Mueyed Ebo had joined the Jaysh al-Thuwar militia in 2011 but was arrested by the Syrian regime and imprisoned for six years. After his release he went directly to Turkey and tried to support his family as a construction worker. He then returned to Idlib and was forcibly recruited by al-Nusra. He remembers: "When we were in Idlib, we were in a really difficult situation. There was great danger. That's why I fled to Afrin. But even in Afrin it's not possible to live a normal, civilian life. The conditions did not allow it. If you want to live there, you have to be part of a militia. The militias rob everyone and oppress the population. They rob them of their personal belongings They kidnap civilians and demand high ransoms from their families.”

"We were brought to Girê Spî"

Ebo reports how jihadist groups were brought to the region in buses from Turkey for the attacks against northern Syria that began on 9 October: "When we arrived here we saw that the brutality and human rights violations in Girê Spî were even worse than in Afrin. I saw dozens of cases of looting and robbery with my own eyes. They robbed everything, including wheat and barley. I am ashamed of what was done there. These lootings took place mainly by militias in SDF uniforms. This was to defame the SDF in the eyes of the population as looters and thieves. The car bombings that are currently taking place in Girê Spî are also being organized by the Turkish state itself and used as a means of anti-propaganda against the SDF."

Ebo states that all militias act on the orders of the Turkish state and military. About the so-called SNA militias, he says: "For them, things like land, dignity and values are in no way important. They only think about the dollars they get."

"I couldn't take it anymore and I ran away"

Ebo was part of the attackers on Girê Spî and began to question his actions because of the inhuman behaviour of the militias there. "I saw with my own eyes how they plundered the people. I couldn't reconcile myself to this with my conscience. There were constant conflicts between the gangs over the distribution of loot. The day before I deserted, a militia commander stole a villager's car," he recalls.

Ebo contacted the SDF and fled to the village of Xalidiyê, west of Ain Issa. He brought with him a DShK gun, a B-7 rocket launcher, four Kalashnikovs, thermal imaging binoculars, an M-16 assault rifle and large quantities of ammunition, and surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces.