On Saturday evening, a local group affiliated with the Syrian regime’s military intelligence branch kidnapped several officers, police, and security personnel in the southern Syrian city of Suweida. The kidnapping included the police chief and the head of the Criminal Security Branch. The aim of this kidnapping is to pressure the State Security Branch in the capital, Damascus, in order to release one of the group’s detainees from the city.
The group, which calls itself Fajr Forces (al-Fajr Islamic Movement), said in a statement posted on Facebook that it “set up a temporary roadblock on the Suweida-Damascus road near the town of Salim, during which officers, security and police officers were abducted after the Damascus State Security Branch (al-Khatib) refused to release Sheikh Jadallah Abdul Qader.”
The group indicated that the families of the kidnapped in Suweida delegated the group the task of negotiating his release, and explained that the temporary checkpoint “facilitated the passage of the regime’s army and civilians, except for the security and police, until his release”.
Al-Suwayda 24 said that the group’s detainees included “the governorate’s police chief and the head of the criminal security branch in Suweida with both their escorts.” It added that they were on their way in a convoy to meet with the Minister of Interior in Damascus.
“They forced them to get out of the car, in addition to disarming the escorts. They then took them all towards the group’s headquarters near the temporary checkpoint,” it said. They were released after being arrested for an hour, “after mediation and contacts by officials in Damascus with the group’s leader in exchange for promises to release the detainee they are demanding.”
It pointed out that it is still detaining a number of officers and members of the police and the State Security Branch to meet its demands.
In turn, a local source told Al-Modon that until now, “the sheikh has not been released,” adding that mediations are taking place between the group and a number of sheikhs in order to release the kidnapped, in exchange for promises of his release after completing the procedures related to his arrest inside the branch in Damascus.
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.