ISIS extremists use Syrian civilians as human shields against Russian strikes

Islamic State militants force Syrian civilians to return home near near the Turkish Akcakale border crossing in northern Syria. File photo

ARA News 

ALEPPO – Amid intensified Russian airstrikes in northern Syria, extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) imposed a siege on the cities of Manbij and Jarablus in an attempt to prevent civilians from leaving their homes.

The radical group on Saturday installed dozens of security checkpoints in the vicinity of the two cities in northern Aleppo province, arresting dozens of civilians who were trying to escape the mounting Russia airstrikes. 

“ISIS militants prevent the people of Manbij and Jarablus from leaving their hometowns despite the fierce airstrikes by Russian warplanes,” civil rights activist Issa al-Raei told ARA News in Manbij. 

Over 1000 civilians have been killed in Syria under Russian airstrikes since September, according to local documentation centers. 

“The ISIS terror group is using those civilians as human shields against the Russian airstrikes,” al-Raei said. 

Speaking to ARA News in Jarablus, Syrian journalist Heytham Bakkar said that ISIS militants have imposed a curfew in the city after installing several checkpoints in its suburbs.

“ISIS is aware that the Russian airstrikes mainly hit residential neighborhoods in Jarablus and other areas held by the group in Syria. Obliging people to stay home waiting for their death under those raids literally means using civilians as human shields, which is a war crime,” Bakkar said. 

He appealed to the international community to intervene and stop “the bloodshed of innocent people at the hands of Assad regime, Russia and ISIS”.

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo

Source: ARA News

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