Over 40 former ISIS members now working in Afrin as part of Turkish-backed forces have been identified in a new database, published today by Rojava Information Center.
They include commanders, brigade leaders, recruiting officers and co-ordinators working directly with the Turkish intelligence services. The database includes their role under ISIS, their new role as part of Turkish-backed jihadist forces in the Afrin region, their current location, biographical information, and in some instances photographs of the individuals in question.
Some names and photos were obtained by Rojava Information Center and OSINT researchers following opposition Telegram channels in Afrin, others were provided by the Foreign Relations Bureau of North East Syria, and others identified in research presented at the International Forum on ISIS.
Names included in the database include: Isma’il Firas al-‘Abbar, who was an ISIS commander in Deir-ez-Zor before becoming a Turkish-backed brigade leader in Afrin; Basil Nayef al-Shehab, who fought against YPG with ISIS in Kobane before becoming a commander in the Turkish-backed Sultan Murad brigade and participating in the occupation of Afrin: and Abu al-Baraa al-Ansari, an ISIS commander in Deir-ez-Zor who is now a commander of Turkish-backed militia Ahrar al-Sharqiya.
Across Afrin, groups like Ahrar al-Sharqiya and the Sultan Murad Brigade are imposing sharia law, and engaging in extortion, kidnapping, murder, torture, rape, and gender-based violence, in actions possibly amounting to war crimes per the United Nations. You can see our report here for more information about the atrocities being committed by these jihadist militias, and the depth of Turkish state support for their actions.
Rojava Information Center researcher Joan Garcia says: This database shows just a fraction of the depth and extent of Turkish collusion with ISIS. Multiple prominent ISIS commanders and fighters are now operating openly as commanders in militias funded, armed, trained and controlled by Turkey.
Some of these individuals work in direct cooperation with the Turkish intelligence services (MIT), and all are part of a chain of command reaching directly to Ankara and president Reccep Tayip Erdogan.
Some are known to have passed through Turkey once leaving ISIS as their defeat became apparent, taking the return path on the ‘jihadist highway’ which brought tens of thousands of jihadist fighters and their families into Syria via Turkish soil, in both tacit and active collusion with the Turkish state. In name, Turkey is a part of the International Coalition against ISIS. In reality, it is a state sponsor of terrorism funding and backing tens of thousands of jihadi fighters, including many with direct links to ISIS.”
|Name||AKA||Village||Town/region||Birth year||Family info||Role under ISIS||Role in Turkish-backed militias||Current location||Notes||Pictured?|
|Isma'il Firas al-'Abbar||Sabikhan||Deir-ez-Zpr||1983||Commander in Subikhan, Deir-ez-Zor||Brigade leader of Turkish backed militia, participated in invasion and occupation||Afrin||Travelled from ISIS to Afrin via Turkey|
|Basil Nayef al-Shehab||Abu Zeid al-Tai||Qotorba||Tel Hamis||Fought against YPG in Kobane and Manbij||Commander in Sultan Murad Division, participated in Turkish invasion and occupation of Afrin||Afrin/Al-Bab||First an Al-Nusra member, subsequently joined ISIS. Injured in Manbij, taken to Mosul for an operation||Y|
|Shawkat Khawaja Samawi||Shiyokh||Deir ez-Zor||1968||Married to a Kurdish woman from the Majar tribe, Kobane||Commander of a group of fighters in turkish-backed militia||Jarabalus|
|Abu al-Baraa al-Ansari||Deir ez-Zor||commander in Deir-ez-Zor||Commander of Ahrar-al-Sharqiya, Turkish-backed militia||Afrin||Sentenced to death by Baghdadi, escaped to join Turkish-backed forces: https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/is-chief-baghdadi-orders-320-followers-to-be-killed-for-disloyalty-reports||Y|
|Mohammed Yassin Zair||Salhabiya, Baza'a||al-Bab||In co-ordination with ISIS||Co-ordinates between Turkish intelligence and Turkish militias in Afrin, participated in Turkish invasion and occupation of Afrin||Afrin||Two brothers, Ward and Fahd, were with ISIS until the end in Deir-ez-Zor, fighting in Garanij village. They were in daily communication|
|Ammar Abdul Aziz al-Abbas||Abu Hamza/Battar||Hermoushiya||Deir-ez-Zor||Obeidat Bakara tribe member||ISIS member||Member of Ahrar al-Sharqiya, Turkish-backed militia in Afrin||Afrin|
|Abdul Qader al-Saweij||Saba'a Arbayin||Shaddadi||Bu Rahmat Bakara tribe member||ISIS member, water tanker driver||Member of Al-Hasekah Shield brigade, Turkish-backed militia||Afrin|
|Mohammed Mahmoud al-Jassem||Dekan||Sarin||1986||Mother: Warda||ISIS member in Sarin||Member of security apparatus and recruiting officer with Turkish-backed militia, has conscripted young people from Sarin and Dekan among others||Jarabalus||Y|
|Abdullah al-Tawheed||ISIS member in al-Bab||Member of Sultan Murad, Turkish-backed militia||Al-Bab||Pictured both during membership of ISIS and as member of Turkish-backed group||Y|
|Ahmad Ayoub al-Hissu||Rehiya||ISIS member||Official working with Turkish-backed militias||Turkey|
|Thamer Nawar al-Khalloufi||Abu Abbas||Umm Kheifa||Tel Hamis||Fought in Tel Maroof, Jazaa and Al-Rihiya, moved to Shedaddi with ISIS||Recruiting officer with Ajnad al-Hasakah (Soldiers of Hasekah), Turkish-backed militia||Afrin||First an FSA member serving under Abu Hammam, after travelled to Turkey before arriving in Afrin||Y|
|Hamad al-Salama||al-Shiyokh al-Tahtani||Deir ez-Zor||ISIS member||Security chief for Turkish-backed militia dealing directly with MIT (Turkish intelligence service)||Jarabalus|
|Khalil Ahmed Nuri||Arishah||al-Shaddadi||ISIS member in al-mayadeen, participated in attack on Abu Khashab||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Member of FSA and Al-Nusra front prior to joining ISIS|
|Ammar Musa Al-Hammadi||Kayrawan||Dirbasiyah||ISIS member in Raqqa||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Saleh Shedadeh||Qanya||Kobane||1986||Parents: Muhummad al-Ahmad and Amina||Fought against YPG in Kobane, travelled to Jarabalus as ISIS member there||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Bassil Hamoud al-Yassin al-Shaykan||Al-Jalaa Farm||Raqqa||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Yassin Hamoud al-Yassin al-Shaykan||Al-Jalaa Farm||Raqqa||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Bashar Hamoud al-Yassin al-Shaykan||Al-Jalaa Farm||Raqqa||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Ahmed al-Jassem||Dekan||Sarin||Mother: Warda||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus|
|Shaddad Abboud al-Aqla||Abu Yarub||Guyiran||Sere Kaniye||1987||Al-Bakaa tribe member. Mother: Sarah Abdul Aziz, from Al-Ali tribe||ISIS member in al-Mayadeen||Turkish-backed militia member||Jarabalus||At the beginning of the revolution, a prominent Free Syrian Army activist in Guyiran neighbourhood. Following agreement between FSA and Syrian regime, travelled to Al-Mayadeen and joined ISIS|
|Hamad Abdullah||Samihan||Tel Barak||1995||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Also al-Nusra Front member prior to joining ISIS, fought YPG in Tel Barak, travelled to Afrin via Turkey|
|Mohammed Ahmin Asyoud||Bilqis, Sagira||Tel Hamis||1975||Mother's name is Naima||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Ahmed Ahmin Asyoud||Bilqis, Sagira||Tel Hamis||1983||Mother's name is Naima||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Amer Suleiman al-Abdullah||Hanwha Kabira||Tel Hamis||1981||Mother's name is Fawza||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Adnan Sulaiman al-Salem||Hanwha Kabira||Tel Hamis||1983||Mother's name is Fawza||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Ismail Saleh al-Faihan||Hanwha Kabira||Tel Hamis||1985||Mother's name is Fawza||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Thamer Nawaf al-Dahas||Umm Keif||Tel Hamis||1987||Mother's name is Mahya||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Mejhem Nawaf al-Dahas||Umm Keif||Tel Hamis||1983||Mother's name is Mahya||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Milhem Nawaf al-Dahas||Umm Keif||Tel Hamis||1985||Mother's name is Mahya||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Nawaf Khalaf al-Dahas||Umm Keif||Tel Hamis||1959||Mother's name is Shiha||ISIS member in Tel Hamis||Turkish-backed militia member||Euphrates Shield region|
|Anwar Ibrahim al-Jabbu||al-Beshira||Tirbesiye||1976||ISIS member, water tanker driver||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Travelled from ISIS to Afrin via Turkey|
|Omar Abu Abdullahi||Omar al-Shami||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Jindires||Videoed during time with ISIS, after pictured with Turkish-backed forces||Y|
|Hamed al-Hilu Ibn Majd al-din||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Y|
|Abu Omar'||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Y|
|Khader Jamal al-Obeid al-Furani||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin||Y|
|Abu Amir al-Diri||ISIS member||Turkish-backed militia member||Afrin|
|Mahran Khalaf al-Sufi||Head of a group of Tunisian and Algerian jihadist fighters, part of ISIS’ internal security apparatus||T+H14urkish-backed militia member, security apparatus||Afrin|
|Yousef Ali Meryamini||ISIS recruiter||Working in Afrin with Turkish-backed militias, apparently recruiting||Afrin||Arrested in Turkey for being an ISIS member, now free and working in Afrin||Y|
|Hussain Ahmed Dakhmli Abu Jarieh||Qabasin||al-Bab||ISIS member||Works with Turkish-backed militias||al-Bab|
|Ali Khudair||Abu Dajana||Brother is the leader of al-Jahish clan, another brother named Abu Hamza al-Juhaishi||ISIS member||Senior lieutenant in the military police||Afrin||Y|
|Rabi Khafajah||ISIS member working in security||Smuggler||Afrin||Y|
|Ahmad Muhammed Shabu||Ibn Madiha||Neirbiya||Shabha||Mother's name is Madiha||ISIS member responsible for seizing property from dissidents||Turkish-backed militia member, known to have robbed and looted residents||Afrin||Y|