Confidential regime Intelligence documents show the Syrian army deliberately facilitated the crossing of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters into the countryside of Salamiyeh city, Hama province, where the extremist group carried out a savage killing campaign in the predominantly Ismaili stronghold.
The documents, issued in April 2014, state around 23 members of ISIS arrived to Alsatahiyat, a regime-controlled area in Salamiyeh’s countryside. The report confirms ISIS members passed through barriers along the Raqqa-Homs route to stop at a point in Khonifis. Their car was never inspected.
The report states the ISIS members reached a point near Alsatahiyat where other Islamic State members met them and took them to the area.
The report is considered by some to be evidence of collaboration between the Syrian regime and ISIS. It is believed the regime facilitated ISIS' entrance to Salamiyeh in order to encourage people to support the regime in ISIS-invaded areas.
The intelligence report mentions the ISIS members, who were well trained and of different nationalities, travelled to Salamiyeh with the intention of conducting suicide bombings and controlling the city’s countryside.
“This is the second batch of ISIS fighters in less than a month, as 16 members entered the city three weeks ago in a similar way”, the report stated.
The report ends with a warning on the seriousness of the situation on the country’s stability and security.
Salamiyeh and its countryside has witnessed a number of ISIS attacks with the regime showing no serious effort to combat the group’s advance.
ISIS was rarely confronted by pro-regime forces despite the spread of National Defence militias in the city. The ISIS attack of Almabojah village was an example of the regime’s negligence where over 50 people, including women and children, were killed in the ISIS attack.
Only a small number of pro-regime militiamen were killed.