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FSA commander threatens journalist's family after torturing him; Syrian government raises alert in Hama to prevent demonstrations

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Glory Jabr

Field and local news:

The Sultan Murad Division commander, Abu al-Leith, threatened of killing the family of the journalist Bilal Saryool in the Afrin area in Northern Aleppo, Northern Syria, unless they issue a statement declaring the Division’s innocence of kidnapping and torturing him.

On Thursday, Bilal’s brother Raed Saryool said that Abu al-Leith stormed the pharmacy of a person who witnessed the kidnapping of Bilal on Wednesday and asked him to deliver the threat to the Saryool family. Raed added that Abu al-Leith asked them to issue a statement within 24 hours saying that he is innocent of the kidnapping.

After he arrived in Turkey, Bilal Saryool noted that he is not sure whether the man who detained him, Abu al-Leith, really belongs to the Sultan Murad Division. Saryool added, “This man is of a bad reputation and has committed encroachment on civilians (...) On  the contrary, the Sultan Murad leadership helped in my release.”

The Syrian government forces deployed patrols in the main streets of the city of Hama, Central Syria, to prevent sit-ins demanding the release of Hama Central Prison detainees.

Eyewitnesses reported that the Syrian government forces and its Shabiha militia deployed to the Assi Square in the center of the city and the roads leading to it, accompanied by heavily armed vehicles.

The Ahrar al-Sham Islamist Movement in Hama detained three Free Syrian Army fighters who were displaced to Northern Syria by the Syrian government a few months ago. The fighters were detained due to security complaints against them, according to a media source in the Ahrar al-Sham.

Syrian government forces stationed at the Zalin checkpoint shelled the town of al-Lataminah, injuring a civilian. The civilian was transferred to the al-Lataminah hospital.

The local council in the village of Umm Jalal near the town of al-Tamaniah, 50 kilometers south of Idlib, Northern Syria, announced that the village has become a disaster zone and that all its residents have fled after the Syrian government forces shelled it with 175 shells.

On Thursday, the head of the village council, Dhaif Allah al-Murr, reported that all 9,500 villagers fled to neighboring villages due to the intense daily shelling.

The Asayish forces of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration released one of its opponents after 16 months of detention. The Asayish handed him over to the State Security Branch of the Syrian government in Aleppo for 40 days to be finally released by the Asayish.

Heavy rain in Western al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, destroyed an agricultural bridge and damaged tents belonging to forcibly displaced people.

On Wednesday, the Asayish forces of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration confiscated three vehicles, each of them carrying five 220-liter fuel barrels. The vehicles were crossing the Euphrates River near the al-Baath Dam in al-Raqqa.

People in Southern Syria struggle to obtain heaters as winter approaches due to the heaters’ high prices and difficulty of securing fuel.

Dozens of dissidents who signed settlement papers with the Syrian government in the town of Mahja, Daraa, rejoined its forces. The turned dissidents were deployed to their former military bases.

Unknown persons wrote slogans against the Syrian government on walls in the town of Muzayrib in the governorate of Daraa, which reached an agreement with the Syrian government, reading, "It is your turn, doctor," "People demand the overthrow of the regime," and "Death but no disgrace."