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The Iraqi Harakat Al-Nujaba militia uses civilians as hostages in Sheikh Said neighborhood.

The daily extreme bloodshed and atrocities committed against civilians in Aleppo did not fulfil the desire of the crimes of the Assad regime and its pro-militias, who have violated all human values and laws of war, as now they are exploiting civilians to seek illusionary media victories.

After Assad forces and Iraqi sectarian militia stormed Sheikh Said neighborhood around a week ago, the Iraqi Harakat Al Nujab militia arrested all members of five families in the neighborhood, who had chosen to stay inside their homes. The seizure of the neighborhood by the Assad regime lasted only for few hours before the local factions in Aleppo managed to retake it and captured fighters from the pro-regime sectarian militias.

 

On October 12, Harakat Al Nujaba militia announced in a report that they captured some fighters, who were sometimes described as Daesh fighters and sometimes as Al Nusra fighters, creating a state of shock among civilians by this blatant lie. The report went viral on pro-Assad social media pages under the title ‘The best gift to Saidah Zaynab and her brother Al Hussain’.

 

Aleppo24 investigated the claims of the report and managed to collect a number of testimonies from the residents of the neighborhood, of whom all falsified the report spread by the regime and its militias.

 

Those who testified stated that all captured families by the Iraqi militia were actually civilians from Al Jassen family in Aleppo, having no affiliation with the armed opposition. The number of the captured is estimated to be 25 people amongst whom were women and children.

 

In the meantime, one of the commanders of the Shamiyya front confirmed to Aleppo 24 that none of their fighters or those affiliated with other factions were captured in the clashes which occurred in the Sheikh Said neighborhood. The source said, ‘ On the contrary, we managed to capture some fighters from Harakat Al Nujaba. We are used to the lies and deceptions practiced by both, the regime and its sectarian loyalists’.

 

The source believes that presenting civilians in Sheikh Said as prisoners of wars is nothing but a shameful attempt by the militia to do a prisoner swap to release some of their captured fighters by the local factions. The Iraqi Harakat Al-Nujaba militia is fighting side-by-side with the regime in southern Aleppo, and the number of their fighters is estimated to be 600 mercenaries from Iraq.

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