The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been conducting operations against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cells since March 2019. Dozens of ISIS cells have been smashed during these operations and hundreds of ISIS members have been caught.
Abdulhemîd Ferhan El-Hemad (Ebû Beraa El-Hiwayêc) is one of them. He was born in 2000 in the town of Hiwayic Ziban in Deir Ez-Zor. He is the father of one child and joined ISIS in 2015, when he was only 15. Hawar News interviewed him about the years he spent with ISIS, how and where he trained, and who supported them.
“I was trained in Ras al-Ay(Serêkaniyê ) when the district was under the occupation of Turkey”, he said.
El-Hemad was gathering intelligence for ISIS before he went to Ras al-Ayn to receive training. After his education, he started work in the “El-Xêr province economy and zakat” cell in July 2020, in the east of Deir Ez-Zor.
Until he was arrested by the SDF, he collected five thousand dollars for ISIS in Deir Ez-Zor, he admits. “We were killing those who did not pay tribute to us and also those who were supporting the SDF”, he said, before explaining the organisation of ISIS in the region as follows: “There are many cell organisations in the region. There are the ones that are affiliated with Turkey and then there are those affiliated with the Damascus government. Cells, especially in North and East Syria, assassinate opinion leaders and representatives of non-governmental organisations in the region to create conflict”, he said.