Regime Continues Arrests of Youths in Autonomous Administration Areas

A militia close to the regime continues its policy of arbitrary arrests in Aleppo, targeting in particular neighborhoods under the control of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration, according to Enab Baladi.

The relatives of Azad Abdo, 35, received his body from the university hospital in Aleppo on July 19th, after he died under torture in the Political Security branch, following a month and a half of detention. The young man was arrested over tensions following the events in Manbij last June, and as part of attempts by the militia known as Brigade al-Baqir, which supports the Syrian regime, to storm and conduct arrests in the neighborhoods under control of the Autonomous Administration.

A correspondent for Enab Baladi in Aleppo said that the burial ceremony for the young man, a Kurd from the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood, which is controlled by the Autonomous Administration, took place on Monday (July 19th) in the neighborhood cemetery.

The young man’s father told Enab Baladi that he had received a call from the state university hospital, informing him to collect the body, adding that his son was an only child, not wanted for military conscription, and working in the areas of regime control.

The father of the victim tried to offer 10 million Syrian pounds to an officer in the political security branch in exchange for his release. According to his father, the security forces refused to do so “categorically.”

Mohammed al-Mohammed, a 47-year-old employee of the Aleppo Railway Company, spoke to Enab Baladi about being arrested by the same militia and then transferred to the air intelligence branch. According to Mohammed, he was released thanks to a wire from the Aleppo Railway Company demanding his release.

Read Also: What is Happening in Manbij?

Mohammed said that during his arrest, there were 34 detainees, all from the Sheikh Maqsood and Ashrafieh neighborhoods, and that there was still a tight focus on the two predominantly Kurdish neighborhoods to date.

According to a correspondent in the area, members of the al-Baqir Brigade militia have been harassing and arresting civilians attempting to leave the Autonomous Administration-controlled neighborhoods in Aleppo since tensions in Manbij. These attempts at flight responded to the Autonomous Administration’s conscription policies in areas under its control.

The Bakara clan is the main component of the al-Baqir Brigade and has a large presence in the Autonomous Administration-controlled city of Manbij.

Syrian regime forces and the al-Baqir Brigade are deployed near Autonomous Administration neighborhoods in Aleppo, where they conduct arrests. Their members are being held in custody in Autonomous Administration neighborhoods, a correspondent from Enab Baladi reported.

A source in Aleppo’s air intelligence forces had previously told Enab Baladi¬†that they had received daily orders to carry out repeated arrests, which “cannot be rejected.”

He added that this restriction is intentional. If a security branch objects to the orders, those security forces members will be imprisoned for violating orders. As of July 1st, some 132 civilians had been arrested while leaving or entering the neighborhoods under the control of the Autonomous Administration in the city.

Since 2013, the Autonomous Administration has controlled the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsood, Ashrafieh, and youth housing on the Castillo road. The Autonomous Administration has handed over remote neighborhoods, namely al-Hadraq, Haidariya, Sheikh Khader, Bustan al-Basha, and Karam al-Zaytounat, to regime forces. The Autonomous Administration had entered these neighborhoods after opposition factions left the city at the end of 2016. The Autonomous Administration ceded these areas of control in exchange for support from regime forces to repel the Operation Olive Branch launched by Turkish forces on Afrin in March 2018.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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