Militants of the Islamic State burning cigarette packs after banning smoking in Raqqa province. File photo
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DAMASCUS – Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) have arrested more than 50 people in the Yarmouk district south of the Syrian capital Damascus on charges of “smoking”, activists reported on Thursday.
“ISIS jihadis launched a new campaign of arrests among the residents of Yarmouk area and captured more than 50 men for smoking,” media activist Mazin al-Shami told ARA News in Damascus.
“ISIS is expected to publicly flog the arrestees soon, as it usually does to smokers,” al-Shami said.
The Islamic State has banned smoking in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq. Anyone captured smoking is being detained and flogged on charges of violating the group’s regulations.
Although ISIS has recently suffered heavy losses due to fighting with Syrian rebel factions in Damascus, the group still holds control of some parts of Yarmouk district –mostly inhabited by Palestinian refugees– and forces people to abide by its rules.
Reporting by: Sami Kanaan
Source: ARA News