RAQQA – Radical group of the Islamic State (ISIS) has launched a campaign of arrests in Syria’s northeastern Raqqa province, targeting civilians the group says have been involved in cooperating hostile parties, activists and eyewitnesses reported on Monday.
The ISIS-linked Hisba police arrested over 100 people in Raqqa on Sunday and Monday, mostly young men.
“They were accused of cooperating with and supporting anti-ISIS forces, such as the western coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),” a local media activist told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity for security concerns.
This comes amid continues advance by the SDF against ISIS, taking over key territory from the militant group including the city of Manbij on the Syrian-Turkish border–which has for long served as a key jihadi border pocket for ISIS.
Also, the US-led coalition has recently bombed major headquarters for ISIS in Raqqa –the de facto capital of the group’s self-declared Caliphate– causing heavy losses in ISIS’s ranks.
“The SDF has made advances against the group in the northern countryside of Raqqa, coupled with heavy airstrikes by the coalition on ISIS positions in western Raqqa,” a local rights activist told ARA News, adding: “This has raised the group’s concerns about the presence of what they call ‘spies’ leaking security information to those anti-ISIS forces in Syria, which explains the recent arbitrary arrests by the group.”