Late on April 21, ISIS members murdered a civilian accused of being a “sorcerer” in the eastern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor.
Local sources said masked ISIS members shot the man, Hassan Ghanem al-Osman, and his wife near their house in the town of al-Sabhah. Al-Osman was immediately killed, while his wife sustained injures only.
In an official statement released by the Amaq agency, ISIS confirmed its responsibility for the murder of 50-year old al-Osman.
“A sorcerer was killed when Islamic State’s fighters shot him near the town of al-Sabhah in the district of al-Busayrah in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside,” the statement reads.
The victim reportedly worked in “witchcraft” prior to the war. When al-Sabhah fell under ISIS control in 2014, al-Osman “repented.” Once ISIS was expelled from the town by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), al-Osman went back to practicing witchcraft.
According to local sources, al-Osman received a message from ISIS cells, saying that the decision to execute him has been taken, a few days before his murder.
ISIS cells have been carrying out a real-life witch-hunt in the SDF-held part of Deir Ezzor for more than year now. In the last five months only, at least two other civilians accused of witchcraft were murdered by the terrorist group.
The murder of al-Osman shows that ISIS is still attempting to impose its laws in its former territory in northeast Syria. The terrorist group’s influence in the region appear to be growing, once again.