Journalist accuses Northern Brigade of arresting journalists near Manbij city, Aleppo
Turkey - SMART
On Saturday, a journalist accused the Northern Brigade faction of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) of arresting three journalists from al-Hasakah near the city of Manbij, east of Aleppo, Northern Syria. The faction's media office denied the accusations.
On Friday, FSA factions arrested three journalists from al-Hasakah. The journalists were on their way to the village of Hishria near Manbij.
The journalist Hibar Osman, who was with the detained media team and managed to escape, reported that he visited a United States military base with officials from the Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled city of Manbij. Osman and the Manbij officials contacted Turkey, which works with the FSA, to negotiate the release of the kidnapped journalists.
The media office director of the Northern Brigade, Bader Kojak, told SMART, "As a media office of the faction, we deny that we have the journalists."
Kojak added, "The issue is not as everyone imagines, they entered the area unintentionally and tried to escape. It is normal for them to be stopped and interrogated, and so far the identity of those who stopped them remains unknown."
Kojak continued, "I think the issue is one of security, and that the factions will deal with it wisely."
The arrest of the media team coincided with the start of the Turkish Army and International Coalition forces' operation against the Islamic State. The two forces have deployed patrols on the border between the FSA and the SDF areas, as part of the "road map" agreement signed between the United States and Turkey.