DEIR EZ-ZOR– The IS illiterate Amir Saleh Khalaf al-Ali who was captured during a special operation carried out by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against one of the mercenaries’ dens east of Deir ez-Zor city narrated the details of his joining the ranks of IS mercenaries, his promotion to the rank of “amir” although he do not know how to read and write.
The mercenary Saleh Khalaf al-Ali from al-Kisra town that is located west of Deir ez-Zor city was born in 1992, and SDF arrested him during a special operation carried out against one of IS mercenaries’ dens in al-Kubar town west of Deir ez-Zor city within al-Jazeera Tempest campaign.
Hawar news agency’s reporter interviewed Saleh Khalaf al-Ali to disclose the details of life among IS mercenaries and how the mercenary Saleh joined IS and was promoted to the rank of an amir.
Recognizing IS by attending the mosques’ sermons:
Saleh stated during his speech that he recognized IS mercenaries after they dominated Deir ez-Zor city in 2015, and he was affected by the legitimate lessons and sermons that he was attending, but that did not encourage him to join at the beginning as he did not understand most of what have been said in the sermons.
After 5 months of IS domination of Deir ez-Zor, two of his cousins joined the ranks of IS mercenaries to undergo military and legitimate courses; afterwards, they joined IS mercenaries officially. Then, after they have ended their courses, they returned to the village on leave. Saleh said “I have met my cousins a day after they have finished their military and legitimate courses, and we discussed the activities that they have undergone. They praised IS and talked about the benefits and ranks that they would get”.
After financial temptations, he decided to join IS
The mercenary Saleh assured that the main reason of his joining is gaining money as IS mercenaries seized all oil fields and wells and provided their elements with money.
Then, Saleh headed towards one of IS mercenaries’ headquarters in al-Mayadeen and expressed his wish to join them. He, after two days, was sent to one of their training camps in al-Jaraniyah west of al-Raqqa to receive a legitimate course which lasted for 45 days.
Seleh received lessons about the Islamic books, Islam religion and its history that was written by IS according to their laws. Saleh added that during the course, they were informed that most of the Syrian people are blasphemers and apostates so they must be fought to return to Islam.
Saleh also was trained how to use heavy and light weapons, mortar cannons, how to make and put explosive belts, how to booby-trap the buildings and how to use the civilians as human shields against the attacking forces in addition to avoiding the warplanes’ blows according to what Saleh stated. Then, the mercenary Saleh started his journey within the IS ranks.
Saleh claimed “I did not understand a lot of things because I do not know reading nor writing, and I do not know anything about the reality of Islam and its history, even I do not know how to read the holy Quran to understand it. All what I have understood is that they consider all the Syrian people blasphemers, and we are responsible for fighting whoever lives out of the areas held by IS.
After the mercenary Saleh finished the two military and legitimate courses, he was sent to al-Shamiyah area as called by IS which is located west of the Euphrates River where he has been engaged in the battles against the Baathist regime for two successive months to return; afterwards, to his home on leave for 5 days. Then, he was sorted to al-Sukhnah area.
Beheading 6 wounded people, he was promoted to an amir
In al-Sukhnah, one of IS amirs started to tempt Saleh of gaining privileges and high ranks, and women would be provided to him on the condition of killing 6 blasphemers and apostates, and cutting their heads to be promoted to the rank of amir.
The mercenary Saleh noted that during one of the battles against the regime in Palmyra and al-Sukhnah areas, a number of the Syrian army’s wounded elements were captured at their hands while he has got the chance to behead 6 wounded people. Saleh also said “after the amir who is called Abu Ali al-Tunisy made sure that I have beheaded 6 people, he gave me all the competences to become amir”.
After the mercenary Saleh has been nicknamed by an amir, he returned to al-Mayadeen to meet one of the most prominent commanders of IS in Deir ez-Zor, and Saleh claimed that during the meeting, that amir was covering his face and even his name was not disclosed to him, but the amir gave him a number of soldiers as bodyguards to take the responsibility of protecting him in addition to providing him with a modern car, and he was appointed amir to manage some of the villages in Deir ez-Zor.
To be continued…