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On December 25th, activists from the Euphrates Center Against Violence published information regarding one of the commanders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), providing evidence that he is, in fact, a “former” ISIS terrorist.
Muhammad Ramadan Eid al-Musleh, known as Ad Dabaa, which means “Hyena” in Arabic, was born in the east of Deir ez-Zor, in the village of Shhil. He was born in 1991.
When the “Arab Spring” came to Syria in 2011, Al-Dabaa was a member of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). However, a year after the start of the “revolution”, he tried to desert, but was arrested and placed in Sednaya prison.
He spent about two years in prison, until in 2014 he was released and returned to his hometown.
Ad-Dabaa’s elder brother Jamil Ramadan al-Musleh died when, together with ISIS militants, he participated in an attack on government barracks in the village of Ayash, located on the bank of the Euphrates. Then a massive amount of SAA weapons fell into the hands of the terrorists.
Then Ad-Dabaa openly sided with ISIS and soon managed to occupy a prominent position in the terrorist group. Al-Dabaa worked in ISIS’ security forces division, but soon retired, while maintaining close ties with terrorist leaders in eastern Syria.
When the Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US coalition forces arrived in ISIS-controlled territories, many terrorists, including Ad-Dabaa, switched to their side, quickly changing their allegiance. Quickly, he was able to gain the trust of the leaders of the SDF, and began to take a direct part in operations to export illegally produced Syrian oil.
ECAVT published a photo of Al-Dabaa with his patron, SDF field commander named Haval Firzat.
Media center sources claimed that in order to prove his allegiance to Firzat, Hyena took part in the execution of workers at the At-Tanak oil and gas field.
The links between Al-Dabaa and the SDF are also documented. ECAVT activists published an official SDF document that authorized Muhammad Ramadan al-Musleh to carry weapons.
“The certificate is intended for the attention of fighters in all military posts – promote the activities of their comrade Mohammed Ramadan al-Musleh, who works in the military department on the territory of Hajin. With him a weapon: a Kalashnikov assault rifle No. 617179 and a pistol type 16/9, No. 106820. The car is a Hyundai H100,” is written on a form certified by a seal with the inscription in Kurdish.
Thanks to the patronage of Firzat, Ad-Dabaa received a share of the illegal oil production at many fields of Deir ez-Zor province, such as Al-Bassam.
According to ECAVT, with the knowledge of the SDF leaders, he maintains contacts with the “emir” of ISIS in Syria named Abu Ward Iraqi. Ad-Dabaa uses part of his oil revenues to support the activities of the ISIS sleeper cells throughout Syria, supplying them with weapons and equipment.
Illegal oil production and smuggling is not the only source of Ad-Daba’s income.
He is the leader of a gang engaged in racketeering in Shkhil and other settlements in the area of the Al-Omar oil and gas field. Armed bandits intimidate Syrian businessmen, accusing them of being ISIS terrorists, after which they offer the businessmen to pay for their crimes, so as not to be reported to the SDF.
With funds obtained illegally, Ad-Dabaa acquired a large house in the city of Hasaka.
As ECAVT found out, Ad-Dabaa was arrested during a raid conducted by Kurdish “security forces”. The reason for the arrest was the appropriation of about one billion Syrian pounds (almost $ 2 million at the exchange rate at the time of detention) of proceeds from illegal oil production and smuggling. But ad-Dabaa did not stay in prison for long. In fact, he bought his freedom with the help of senior SDF leaders and big bribes.
Data collected by ECAVT activists confirm that ISIS fighters who joined the ranks of Kurdish armed groups have not ceased to be terrorists. Ad-Dabaa is only one of the thousands of ISIS fighters who are still at large and continue to do what they did as part of the terrorist group.
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