In a new scene which has begun to play out in the Free Syrian Army prisons in the liberated areas of northern Syria, a young man, Muhannad Diab al-Qassem, from the northern Homs countryside, was killed while being tortured by military police in the city of Jarablus under the control of the National Army.
Bassam Abou Laich, a friend of the young man, told Horriya Press that, “Muhannad al-Qassem was arrested by military police in the city of Jarablus while coming from the northern Homs countryside to northern Syria to flee conscription into regime forces after he was called up for reserve service.”
He added that, “On Jan. 21, 2019, he reached the al-Aoun crossing between the SDF militia areas and the Free Syrian Army, where military police arrested him. On Sunday, they delivered his body to his family bearing signs of torture, a practise which is more commonly associated with the behavior of the Assad regime.”
Abou Laith added that, “The young man’s parents demanded that those responsible be held to account and that the criminals who allowed themselves to torture their son to death be tried.”
The young man came from the town of al-Samalil, which falls administratively under city of al-Houla in the northern Homs countryside.
The incident came days after the death of a young man, Mohamed Saeed al-Attar, from the city of al-Qusayr in the Homs countryside, at the hands of a security council in the Faylaq al-Sham faction in the Aleppo countryside. His family are still waiting for justice to be served and the criminals to be held to account.
The crime that occurred is not different from the crimes of Assad’s gangs, who kill prisoners using starvation and torture. It is not the first crime of its kind, and it will not be the last, if lower-ranking fighters are not charged and commanders evade being held to account—just as many have also fled with the money they have collected to shelter themselves in the embrace of their employers in other countries.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.