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No Accountability and Abuse of Influence: Reality of Opposition Areas in Northern Syria

Leaders of the Syrian National Army are using the same abusive methods as the regime, according to al-Hal Net.
No accountability and Abuse of Influence: Reality of Opposition Areas in Northern Syria
No Accountability and Abuse of Influence: Reality of Opposition Areas in Northern Syria

In a new provocative move, videos of the son of a leader of the pro-Turkey National Army in the northeast of Aleppo have angered Syrians. His videos have been widely circulated throughout social media over the past two days, and have been met with a large stream of anger, and denouncing comments. 

The first video shows young Walid al-Azza practicing his hobby of horse riding in one of the tracks belonging to his father in the village of al-Numan in the countryside of Al-Bab city. Escort cars followed him, while another car preceded him and filmed him.

A second video, posted by the same young man, showed him with members of the Sultan Murad division, which is led by his father. He was firing randomly from anti-aircraft guns, with the aim of being filmed. The video featured enthusiastic songs, to express the achievements of what he is doing. 

The young man also posted another provocative video, in which he appeared with two soldiers. One of them was carrying several pistols, to be tried one by one by the young man. The second soldier was training him to use them, in one of the orchards recently seized by his father in the same village. 

The young man’s clips received a flood of criticism and condemnation, saying “even the Assad family didn’t do such a thing”, referring here to the family of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his relatives. 

Seizure of civilian property 

A confidential source told al-Hal Net that Adnan al-Khuwailid, a.k.a Abu Walid al-Azza, who is one of the leaders of Sultan Murad and comes from Homs, raises horses and camels in the Kurdish-majority village of Numan. He leaves them grazing in the fields and agricultural land of the villagers. No one dares to stop them, for fear of severe punishment. 

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In July 2021, Abu Walid set up a horse racetrack in this village, which he called Abu Walid al-Azza Track, vandalizing about one hectare of agricultural land. It is one of several similar situations in the area, the source said. 

Repeated arrests 

“Abu al-Walid al-Azza’s violations did not stop at seizing civilian orchards, he also harassed them through repeated arrests, under the pretext of communicating with the SDF. In exchange for their release, payments of sometimes up to $4,000-5,000 per person are required,” al-Hal Net correspondent in al-Bab said. 

Activists on social networking pages accused the National factions of committing repeated violations against the residents of the areas under their control, especially the Kurdish population, under the pretext of their affiliation with political and military organizations, noting that the aim is to “displace them from the region.”

Recently, the Numan village witnessed repeated arrest campaigns targeting dozens of young men and women in the village.

Syrian opposition factions, in coordination with the Turkish army within the Euphrates Shield Operations Room, had taken control of the city of al-Bab in 2017, after violent battles with the terrorist organization ISIS.


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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