Militants of the Islamic State during a parade in Raqqa. File photo
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Raqqa, Syria – Several militants dissented from the ranks of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria, following rifts with the group’s local leadership, a local source reported on Monday.
“At least six IS militants left the group and crossed into Turkey,” a source in Tel Abyad told ARA News, on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
“The information was leaked through an IS local prince in Tel Abyad subsequent to rifts within the group’s militants in the city,” the source reported.
On Monday evening, the group besieged the village of Manbateh (2 km west of Tel Abyad) and stormed civilians’ houses in search of its dissident members.
“The dissidents have secretly crossed the border before the group storms the border village,” the source added. “Apparently, they had planned their escape since weeks, because crossing the IS-held border is no easy task.”
There were no further information about the nationalities of the IS dissidents.
The city of Tel Abyad has been under attacks by Kurdish forces and allied Syrian rebels for weeks.
Kurdish People’s Protection Units and rebels of Burkan al-Furat regained dozens of villages west of Tel Abyad in Raqqa province following fierce clashes with IS militants.
On the other hand, the radical group of IS has forcibly withdrawn from major headquarters in northern Raqqa under blows by Kurdish forces and allied rebels backed by the U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes.
Last month, the group started digging trenches at the eastern side of Tel Abyad city, in anticipation of possible progress by the joint forces (YPG forces and Burkan al-Furat rebels).
Noteworthy, this is not the first time that a number of the group’s militants dissent. In March, a surge of dissidence hit the group’s ranks when prominent members left its ranks in Raqqa and crossed into Turkey.
Reporting by: Naima al-Khalil
Source: ARA News