A while back, I noted that with the Kurdish rapprochement with the Syrian government, the ISIS/ISIL prisoners held by the former were very likely to be handed over to, or captured by, Syrian forces; and they could expect little mercy if they were.
Well, guess what?
Jihadis in prisons in Syria could face execution without trial after President Bashar al-Assad said he was setting up special terror courts, where the prisoners will be subjected to ‘Syrian law’.
Membership of Islamic State (IS) is a hanging offence in Syria and the brutal dictator has now said foreign members of IS in the country will be brought to justice.
Thousands of prisoners have been secretly executed inside the infamous Saydnaya Prison near Damascus, according to Amnesty International. Thousands more are said to have died there through torture and starvation.
Inmates are regularly beaten while crammed inside tyres, electrocuted and sexually assaulted. Some have been forced to act like animals and beat or kill one another.
Assad’s comments were made in an interview with Paris Match magazine when asked about a deal with Kurdish-led forces that would eventually bring their areas back under government control. The Syrian Democratic Forces, who defeated IS in March with the help of the US-led coalition, is currently holding more than 10,000 militants, including 2,000 foreigners.
Abandoned by their US allies, the Kurds turned to Assad and Russia for protection when Turkey invaded and over the past weeks government forces have moved into areas once held by Kurds. President Assad said: ‘Every terrorist in the areas controlled by the Syrian state will be subject to Syrian law.
‘This one is very clear vis-a-vis terrorism. They will therefore be brought to justice in specialised courts dealing with terrorism.’
There’s more at the link.
Considering the reign of terror that ISIS imposed on areas it took over, and the brutalities, atrocities and torture inflicted by its members on innocent people, it’s hard to look on this as anything except “what goes around, comes around”. The Syrian armed forces have an almost equally atrocious reputation concerning their conduct in captured or recaptured areas. They’re unlikely to show any mercy.
Sadly, there’s bound to be a fairly large proportion of innocent people caught up in this mess. When anti-ISIS forces “liberated” an area, any able-bodied male survivor was likely to be rounded up and imprisoned on suspicion of being a terrorist; and the process of interrogation and verification, whereby an innocent person would have an opportunity to prove he wasn’t, was never particularly scrupulous, if it was available at all. The mere fact that ISIS hadn’t killed them was grounds for suspicion, as far as the “liberators” were concerned. I daresay hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent men are about to die as a result.
There’s nothing we can do to help them; but I suggest that at the very least, a prayer for their souls is in order, and for their families, who are about to lose their son, or lover, or husband, or father. I hope those of you so inclined will join me in doing so.