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Mothers of Hatla town still waiting sons detained by Daesh 5 years ago

Features | 2019-06-26 21:00:00
Mothers of Hatla town still waiting sons detained by Daesh 5 years ago
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Five years ago, 17 children from the same family lost their parents following a major night raid by the Islamic State (Daesh) in the town of Hatla in Deir Ezzor province, one of the terrifying nights where dozens killed and arrested by the radical group.

That night, 200 people were arrested after raiding homes, avoiding women, children and the elderly looking for young men on the ground that they fought with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which lost Deir Ezzor after its defeat in the battles against IS, spring 2014.

Their uncle Hassan Abu Raad, 45, said that Daesh members raided the homes of his three brothers and arrested him and his nephew in front of their mother and their wives and left their innocent children shocked by what happened.

Hadlah (pseudonym) is waiting for the return of two of her sons, who were arrested on June 23 during the raid on Hatla. Tears have become a constant in a house rented by her family after she fled home after regime forces and sectarian militias took control over on the town.

Despite the leaders of the regime announcing that they killed her children, hope still drives Hudla to pray to God to return them safely, saying that alone will compensate for the killing of her father and sister in Russian air raids during the journey of displacement two years ago, and before that, her husband.

Activist Qayad al-Alwan confirmed that “Abu Sayyaf al-Tunisi led the campaign of indiscriminate raids that night by orders of  Abu Yahya al-Iraqi , while Abu Asad al-Masri was the security official in the region with Abu al-Bara al-Qazbeer.”

Al-Alwan said that, after the siege of the area, elements of  ISIS fighters were yanking the doors and forcefully entering homes, demanding the residents to raise their hands over their heads, some of whom thought that the regime’s intelligence was the one raiding the town.

More than 100 detainees, including children, were transferred to Conoco gas plant, which was later called the "Palestine Branch" because of the horrendous methods of torture, including pouring gasoline on the detainees and threatening to burn them unless they confess to the charges against them. 44 people were transferred to al-Raqqa and the rest were released.

After ISIS lost Raqqa, the prisoners, including from Hatla, were transferred to al-Maydeen and al-Bukamal, then to Iraq, before being returned to secret prisons in the cellars north of Deir Ezzor, but their families were met by the denial from security leaders in the organization.

Al-Alwan estimated that a number of people executed by ISIS more than 170 people in Hatla alone, a part of whom were transferred to the town of al-Baghuz, the last bastion of the organization in the northeast Syria, which it lost to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last March.

Zaman Al Wasl
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