Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham Detains Footballer Sarout Over Claims of ISIS Links

Demonstrators call for release of national football star and rebel commander following arrest by Islamist alliance in Idelb, opposition website reports

Syrian revolutionary icon and former national footballer Abdul Baset al-Sarout has been detained by Al-Qaeda-linked militants in northern Idleb province, sparking anger from opposition activists who demand his imminent release.

Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, a powerful alliance of Islamist factions led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (the Nusra Front), arrested the opposition figure around 10 days ago over claims of links with the Islamic State (ISIS).

Dozens of demonstrators in Idleb took to the street to demand the release of Sarout, who with the late singer Ibrahim Qashoush helped lead the demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad in Homs and Hama.

Activists on social media also launched a campaign to pressure Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham to release the former goalkeeper.

Sarout is thought to have survived at least three assassination attempts.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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