Syria’s Kurds set free nearly 300 Daesh-linked Syrians

The semi-autonomous Kurdish administration said in a statement those released ‘have no Syrian blood on their hands.’ Above, members of the Syrian Democratic Forces question suspected Daesh militants. (AFP)
Updated 03 March 2019
0

Syria’s Kurds set free nearly 300 Daesh-linked Syrians

  • Tribal chiefs and other local officials had lobbied for their release
  • The prisoners were released in several areas of northern Syria held by Kurds

BEIRUT: Nearly 300 Syrians suspected of belonging to Daesh have been freed because they have “no blood on their hands,” Kurdish authorities who were holding them said.
Their release was announced late Saturday by the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration of northern Syria, which said in a statement that 283 Syrians had been set free.
Tribal chiefs and other local officials had lobbied for their release.
The statement said they were men who “have no Syrian blood on their hands,” suggesting that they did not take part in any fighting.
“They had lost their way ... violated the traditions of the Syrian society and the law, and some of them had been deceived ... but they remain our Syrian children,” it said.
Releasing them is a gesture of “cooperation, fraternity and clemency,” said the statement posted on the website of the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The prisoners were released in several areas of northern Syria held by Kurds, including the city of Raqqa, which was the de facto Syrian capital of the Daesh “caliphate,” the statement added.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said it was not the first release of Daesh-linked prisoners by Kurdish authorities, but the number was particularly large this time.
The SDF are holding hundreds of alleged foreign militants, as well as women and children related to suspected Daesh members.
Syria’s Kurds have long urged their home countries to take the detainees back, but nations have been reluctant.
Kurds have played a key role in battling Daesh in Syria. The SDF have now cornered the militants in their last stretch of territory near the border with Iraq in a final bid to flush them out.
In November 2013, Kurdish groups in Syria announced the establishment of a semi-autonomous region divided into three zones, following victories against rebels and militants.

Related


Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

Mazen Al-Tarazi has been living in Kuwait for a long while. (AFP/File)
Updated 19 March 2019
0

Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

  • The businessman has a publishing and advertising company in Kuwait
  • He is blacklisted in the EU

KUWAIT CITY: A prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad has been arrested in Kuwait, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mazen Al-Tarazi was arrested late Monday at his offices, his lawyer Badr Al-Yacoub told AFP.
He said that he did not yet know the reasons behind his client’s arrest.
Local authorities did not immediately release the charges against Tarazi.
But Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unnamed informed sources, reported that the businessman is accused of money laundering and printing texts without authorization.
A longtime resident of Kuwait, Tarazi owns a publishing and advertising firm in partnership with a high-profile local businessman, Ahmad Al-Jarallah.
Jarallah confirmed to AFP that police had raided his offices on Monday night and arrested Tarazi’s secretary and two Al-Hadaf magazine employees.
Tarazi is on an EU blacklist of Syrian nationals who have been banned from entry to European states and whose assets have been frozen over their role in the Syria war.