ISIL terrorists ‘torture, kill and disfigure’ Ahrar al-Sham commander

ISIL terrorists ‘torture, kill and disfigure’ Ahrar al-Sham commander
Fri Jan 3, 2014 10:26:43

An alliance of seven extremist rebels has condemned the hardline militants from the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after the latest outrage against a fellow insurgent.

ISIL militants were blamed this week for the kidnapping and killing of Hussein al-Suleiman, a physician who was also a commander in the Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group.

Ahrar al-Sham is one of the country’s biggest militant groups, and is a member of the Islamic Front alliance along with six other militias, most of which enjoy a nationwide presence.

A gruesome photograph of Suleiman’s disfigured body has circulated widely on social media.

The Front said that Suleiman was arrested after he went to meet with an ISIL delegation in order to settle a dispute that arose in the village of Maskaneh in rural Aleppo.

In a statement Wednesday, the Front demanded that ISIL hand over those responsible for Suleiman’s killing, while pointing to the blanket refusal by ISIL militants to cooperate with the Shariah Committees that have been established in rebel-held areas to handle local disputes.

“They kidnapped him and tortured him, and then killed him and disfigured his corpse, in a way unknown to the Syrian people prior to the revolution,” the statement said.

While the various factions of rebels in Syria’s war are often lumped together in the minds of some people, the Front used the word “thawra,” which can mean revolution or revolt – the term is anathema to ISIL and the Nusra Front, both affiliates of Al-Qaeda, who denounce any struggle other than “jihad.”

Observers believe that the Islamic Front, which was formed in November, is trying to position itself as the most powerful terrorist force on the ground.

However, its various groups have become embroiled in a series of disputes and clashes with both mainstream rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army as well as the ultra-extremists of ISIL and the Nusra Front.

One of the leading figures in the Islamic Front, Hassan al-Abboud of Ahrar al-Sham, tweeted about the recent infighting between the insurgents, but refrained from making harsh accusations against ISIL.

Some observers believe that the Ahrar al-Sham movement, one of the most powerful in the country, is for now seeking to avoid an all-out clash with ISIL even though other members of the Islamic Front favor such a move.

The mainstream opposition-in-exile, the National Coalition, also strongly condemned the crime.

It called on rebels who had joined ISIL to abandon the group and for the “prosecution of the leaders of this terrorist organization.”

The statement said that Suleiman was shot to death after being subjected to “the worst forms of torture,” while according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one of Suleiman’s ears was cut off before he was killed.

The Observatory said his body was handed over to representatives of the Islamic Front Tuesday, as part of a prisoner exchange.

The incident is merely the latest in a series of widely condemned actions by ISIL, which is believed to count a large number of non-Syrians within its ranks.

Some observers have focused on the growing clout of ISIL, as well as the notion that the Al-Qaeda-inspired group supposedly “learned its lessons” from years past in Iraq, where it had engaged in terrorizing civilian populations.

But in many areas, the group has been accused of engaging in systematic arrest campaigns of civilian activists, as well as clashing with militant groups.

In November, a wounded commander from Ahrar al-Sham was murdered by ISIL militants, who reportedly heard him muttering prayers to figures honored by Shias while recovering under anesthesia in a hospital.


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