Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) raiding a building in Raqqa. File photo
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HOMS – Dozens of militant fighters have deserted the ranks of the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s central Homs province, local sources reported on Saturday.
Three groups of militants, that have been sent by ISIS leadership to fight the Syrian army in Homs province, defected on Thursday.
“At least 30 jihadis deserted ISIS’ ranks. The dissidents used to fight in three ISIS-led brigades in Homs province,” local media activist Amro al-Hussein told ARA News.
The ISIS military leadership issued a statement accusing the dissidents of committing “high treason” against the Caliphate.
“The militants have evacuated their positions on Friday midnight and are believed to have escaped from Homs province to avoid arrest,” al-Hussein reported, citing an ISIS official.
The radical group considers anyone who deserts its ranks a traitor and usually executes them in public.
Earlier in August, ISIS arrested a number of its own militants for attempting dissidence in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province. At least eight ISIS militants were captured while trying to flee the group’s territory in Deir ez-Zor. “They were arrested after evacuating their headquarters without permission. They were captured while trying to escape Deir ez-Zor,” local media activist Samir al-Khalaf told ARA News.
“The ISIS-led Islamic Police has been pursuing the movements of its own members in the province after receiving information about the intention of some militants to defect,” al-Khalaf said, citing an ISIS official in Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria.
In July, the Islamic State (ISIS) executed seven of its own militants in Iraq’s northwestern Mosul city on charges of treason. The seven militants were accused of escaping the battlefront in the Sharqat district south of Mosul, where heavy fighting continued between ISIS and the Iraqi army.
“The Sharia Court accused them of high treason. They were subsequently executed in central Mosul amid the attendance of dozens of ISIS members as well as residents from the city,” media activist Munzir Hussein told ARA News in Mosul. “A Sharia official read a statement before the execution was conducted, saying those who flee the jihad fronts are enemies of Allah and unbelievers, and that they deserve death,” the source reported.
In early May, ISIS has executed eight of its own militants on charges of attempting dissidence in the city of Manbij in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo. Local activists confirmed that ISIS has executed its own militants for trying to desert the group’s ranks and flee to Turkey.
Speaking to ARA News in Manbij, media activist Nasser Taljbini said that ISIS militants who observe Syria-Turkey borderline near their areas of control have arrested several members of the group while trying to escape and cross the border into Turkey. Taljbini pointed out that a masked member from the Sharia Court in Manbij explained the reason behind executing the militants, saying “these are traitors for the Caliphate”.
In February, ISIS-linked border guards were able to capture an ISIS militant, a Tunisian national, along with his Chechen wife, in the city of Jarablus northern Syria, while trying to flee the group’s ranks to Turkey, according to local sources.
“ISIS border guards were able to capture the Tunisian militant and his wife near the Turkish border in the western suburbs of Jarablus before crossing border into Turkey,” media activist J.S., told ARA News at the time.
Hundreds of ISIS militants have deserted the group’s ranks recently, especially in Aleppo suburbs near the Turkish border.
Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa
Source: ARA News