Nusra Front fighters stormed the building of Radio Fresh as well as the media office in Kafr Nubbul, assaulting radio guest and media activist Hadi al-Abdullah. Another group of Nusra fighters also stormed Mazaia Women's Center, tampering and destroying property inside.
Radio Fresh, which broadcasts from the village of Kafr Nubbul in the countryside of Idleb, said the assailants claimed the two centers were printing Surriyatuna (Our Syria) magazine. The magazine, actually printed in Turkey and distributed within Syria, recently published an article in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo newspaper.
Director of Mazaia Women's Center, Ghalia Rahal, confirmed the intrusion and attack on the center.
"We were surprised when Nusra attacked the center during our usual work of training women. They destroyed as much as they could from the contents inside the center. When I asked one of them about the reason for this action, he started screaming ‘where is Charlie Hebdo magazine?’, she said.
“I did not understand what he initially meant, and later understood they were looking for Surriyatuna magazine, which is printed abroad and distributed inside Syria. It seems that Nusra had received a false tip-off that the magazine is printed in the center and distributed by us, and that turned out to be untrue."
“During the raid, the fighters expelled everyone from the center after threatening them with arms, terrifying all the women. After discovering the tip-off was false, the individuals left the place and apologized", Rahal explained.
Media activist, Hadi al-Abdallah, confirmed through Radio Fresh that he had been assaulted by Nusra fighters during the attack on the media office in Kafr Nubbul.
"This act saddens me. We have always supported Nusra Front and I, personally, have covered many of their battles in Qalamoun, Homs, Idleb and other regions. They accused us of immorality, blasphemy and insulting the Prophet Mohammad, in response to false claims that we publish and distribute Surriyatuna magazine – which is associated with the journalists of Charlie Hebdo. They created a state of terror in the center, and then they realized that the information they received was false. After the inspection, they apologized and left", Abdallah said.
Director of the Media Office in Kafr Nubbul, Raed Fares, expressed his deep concern about the act, saying "No man has ever entered the Women's Center before, and that's what hurts us. We filed a complaint to the courthouse in al-Marra, and we are waiting the reply".
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer