EIN ISSA, SYRIA — Locals of Ein Issa, a Syrian town just north of the city of Raqqa are reportedly fed up with former ISIS members and commanders who have been rehabilitated by U.S. proxy forces as traffic cops.
“Reliable sources” told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) that former Daesh militants have been converted into “security members” and are extorting the public.
The rehabilitated ISIS fighters are reportedly “imposing bribes” and royalties on vehicles, “not to mention the shameful acts against the pedestrians in the streets and the harassment of the citizen women.”
Earlier this year, according to the same outlet, American generals met with “administrative representatives” in the town.
SOHR is run by a single individual living in the U.K., Rami Abdulrahman, a man with pro-opposition sympathies. The outlet is funded by the British Home Office.
Typically in the aftermath of war, the losers are severely punished — especially snipers, and ISIS had many. Extrajudicial killings against suspected ISIS members have run rampant in Iraq and Syria, as citizens release their rage over being held captive for so many years. It is no surprise that the citizens of Raqqa and its suburbs, who are mostly Sunni Arabs, are incensed that former ISIS members, whom they may even recognize, are allowed to continue issuing traffic tickets and harassing women.
The issue is part of a larger problem facing the world in the wake of the collapse of ISIS as a terrorist group that once governed large swaths of land: what to do with its former operatives. Westerners who joined the terrorist organization are met with political firestorms when they return to the countries of origin. The U.S. and its regional allies have also been accused of shipping them into Afghanistan and Yemen.
Post-WW II parallel
If true, a historical parallel is apparent. After the Soviet Union liberated Berlin from the Nazis and the city was divided between the Allied-occupied western portion and the Soviet-controlled east, former Nazis were able to climb rank in the West German government and were even recruited to NATO.
Raqqa was the self-declared capital of the so-called caliphate until it was 80 percent destroyed by the U.S.-led coalition. Kurdish fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated the city on the ground as the U.S. and its allies pummeled it relentlessly from the air.
Ein Issa has been administered by Kurdish officials aligned with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the U.S.’s main fighting force in Syria. The U.S. is believed to have more than a dozen military bases on land under the ostensible control of the group, including Ein Issa.
MintPress News previously reported that in the face of a possible Turkish onslaught in the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, “nearly 200 U.S. Army trucks carrying weapons and equipment left Iraq and have arrived at bases in Manbij, Raqqa and Ein Issa.” That move by Trump has, however, seems to have turned out to be bogus.
Top photo | A member of the Raqqah Internal Security Force learns from Coalition advisors how to “interact with locals” near Raqqa, Syria, March 17, 2018. Travis Jones | US Army
Alexander Rubinstein is a staff writer for MintPress News based in Washington, DC. He reports on police, prisons and protests in the United States and the United States’ policing of the world. He previously reported for RT and Sputnik News.