Friday, 04 April 2014 12:40

Leaked document Confirms ISIS Links to Assad Regime

A leaked document submitted to Major General Ali Mamlouk, head of the National Security Office of the Assad regime, and signed by Colonel Haider Haider, head of the security committee in the town of Nubbul in Aleppo province, contains information about coordination between the Assad regime and extremist armed groups, especially Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). The document, published by Al Sharq al-Awsat on April 4, 2014, confirms that a number of Iraqi militiamen joined the fight alongside Assad's forces and were recruited by the State Security Branch of Aleppo. According to the document, it was not possible for these Iraqi militiamen to join Islamic factions in Syria since their personal documents show that they belong to the Shiite sect, while all fighters of the Islamic factions are predominantly Sunni. To overcome this, Haider demanded that they get Syrian ID cards and weapons for those Iraqi militiamen, who numbered around 2,500, so that they can join ISIS.  Haidar also asked for some Iraqi documents to be given to the Syrian fighters who are fluent in the Iraqi dialect. Furthermore, the document reveals that there were more than 150 well-trained fighters, while the rest of the groups, comprising more than 600 trainees aged between 20 and 45 years, were trained in different specialties that they received when they were conscripts. The document also listed the names of 200 fighters from the town of Nubbul and Zahraa'. It also reveals that there were a large number of volunteers who had confirmed their readiness "to defend the homeland" and that number is expected to increase if weapons are secure for more volunteers, who said they were ready to fight alongside Islamic factions and carry out the tasks entrusted to them from within these factions, especially after the last achievements that were done in coordination with the state authorities in the northern region. Haider said that the geographical location of Nubbul and Zahra'a help in the control of Aleppo highway, and that regime forces and the groups fighting on his side can cross the Iraqi border in coordination with their allies in Iraqi side and transfer fighters and weapons. The document also reveals that the Assad regime has many elements and strong leadership inside ISIS in the northern, who can secure the entry of new recruits to the ranks of this organization through recommending them, whereby the Assad regime became able to get detailed information on the movements of the militants, their numbers, weapons and their plans. The coordination and communication with ISIS resulted in a decrease in operations of the Free Syrian Army against regime positions in the north. Haider asked Mamlouk to raise the payments of these volunteers and to provide them with weapons and vehicles. He also asked Mamlouk to ramp up support for groups that are stationed on the battle fronts to protect cities and vital sites, after Aleppo-Raqqa road was cut off by rebels. A second document, dated September 1st, 2013, revealed the formation of a military council of 22 retired army officers in the Shiite town of Nubbul which, along with Zahra’a, had been besieged by the FSA and Islamic battalions. (Source: Al Sharq Al-Awsat)

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