Syria Direct: News Update 5-26-15

Ahrar a-Sham takes on pro-IS militia in Daraa

Ahrar a-Sham captured a village in western Daraa province from an IS-affiliated militia in fighting that one spokesman with the Southern Front described to Syria Direct Tuesday as “in the interest of only the Assad regime.”

“The fighting in these areas is an Islamist conflict,” said Abu al-Majed, stressing that he was expressing his personal opinion only and not that of the Southern Front.

“We're watching it closely and we disapprove, as right now all rifles are supposed to be pointed towards the Assad regime.”

In Monday's attack, Ahrar a-Sham, together with Jabhat a-Nusra and Liwa al-Furqan, captured the village of Sahm al-Jolan from IS-affiliated Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk, reported al-Jabha al-Islamiya's Twitter handle Monday.

Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk admitted through an announcement Monday that its fighters had withdrawn from the village “to save civilian lives.”

 Ahrar a-Sham engages pro-IS militias in Daraa. Photo courtesy of Sahel Horan.

Islamic State ramps up executions of ‘rebels’ in Deir e-Zor

Islamic State fighters executed eight individuals in Deir e-Zor city accused of collaborating with the regime and selling drugs on Monday, the latest wave in a campaign of executions started by IS in the middle of last week which has already claimed 60 lives, reported the opposition news agency All4Syria.
 
“IS executed eight young men from the neighborhoods of the city under its control after charging them with various and repeated accusations of being part of Awakenings, working with the regime, being rebels, and fighting the Islamic State,” Samir al-Firati, an activist with the Sound and Picture campaign that documents IS’s crimes, was quoted by ARA News as saying on Monday.
 
IS previously executed twelve people accused of belonging to Awakenings in the Deir e-Zor countryside last Monday.
 
IS has recently begun accusing those it believes are undermining its rule of joining an Awakening. The term alludes to the US campaign of recruting Sunni tribesman to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Lebanese arrest Syrians over illegal entry, ‘terrorist’ affiliations

The Lebanese army arrested 90 Syrian refugees on Monday from several areas in the Bekaa Valley and the north on various charges including affiliation with a “terrorist organization,” reported the official website of the Lebanese army. 
 
“Some [of the 90] entered Lebanon illegally and some were arrested on suspicion of being part of terrorist organizations,” the army said in its statement.
 
“Arrests of Syrian refugees are not new,” a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who requested anonymity told Syria Direct on Tuesday. “Rather, they have clearly increased after the outbreak of battles against the regime and Hezbollah in western Qalamoun.”
 
The Lebanese army said last week it arrested dozens of Syrian refugees in another campaign in the Bekaa region “for not having legal resident documents and having entered the country illegally.”
 
“Simply put, the Lebanese Army’s storming of Syrian [refugee camps] resembles a-Shabiha raids on Syrian towns,” Abu Asad al-Homsi, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, told Syria Direct in a recent interview.