The city of Aleppo which is under regime control is witnessing popular anger, because the daily criminality carried out by members of loyalist militias. In various parts of the city these criminal acts have escalated to the point of kidnapping and killing children, according to Al-Modon’s correspondent, Khalid al-Khatib.
On Monday, Haytham Hamami, aged 14, underwent various surgeries in the University Hospital, and his situation is still unstable. Hamami was subject to an attempted murder on the roof of a building near the al-Hayat Hospital in the middle of Aleppo on Sunday night, after resisting his kidnappers — a group of militia members deployed near the hospital. Hamami was subject to attempted sexual violence, before his kidnappers tried to kill him with knives after he resisted. The child was stabbed in the neck and the chest before he was assisted by neighbors of the University Hospital.
The head of the Aleppo police, Major General Essam al-Shalli, and members of the police patrol who arrived at the scene of the incident about half an hour later, were not able to arrest the perpetrators, or to identify them. Residents in the area of the al-Hariri street said on social media that known members of the National Defense militia and the Baath Brigades were responsible for the crime.
A few days earlier in the Saif al-Dowla district, the body of the child Mohamed Sem Adla, 13, was found on the roof of a residential building in the district near his house. Adla had been kidnapped three days earlier by a group of National Defense militia members. His family said that their son had been kidnapped while in the main street market in Saif al-Dowla, while buying household goods. His body had been disfigured and dismembers according to some rumors, with organs stolen from his body.
Before this, there had been an attempted kidnapping of a group of children in front of the al-Wahida school in New Aleppo. The attempt failed because of the presence of residents in front of the school waiting for their children who followed the gang members. A small child was raped in the Baroun Street in the city center by a group of militia members. The crime was recorded as unknown and the perpetrators have not been caught.
The al-Arqoub industrial area has witnessed repeated kidnappings and sexual assaults against children carried out by members of the al-Baqr Brigade militia which is deployed in the Karam al-Jabal district and in the area of the Hananou barracks. Over the last two months there have been more than 10 children lured into nearby destroyed buildings and assaulted. Following increasing reports from the people of the area to the security forces and complaints of non-responsiveness, the police charged a single person from the gang to absorb the anger. The police said that during interrogations, the accused confessed to luring the victims and threatening them with knives, in the al-Arquob area.
Terror prevails in the city of Aleppo and on social media residents have circulated information about the kidnapping gangs amid tightening control on children’s movements and putting major restrictions on them.
Residents have called on the Education Directorate in Aleppo to change school times after the beginning of the winter timing. The children who are staying in the evening have had to return home after dark. The directorate has not responded to the requests, which has pushed many residents to accompany their children to and from school.
The police command in Aleppo said that it would intensify night patrols in the city districts, but everyone knows that the police cannot do anything in light of the control of loyalist militias and armed gangs who are under the authority of the security branches.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.