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A-Raqqa: FSA, Islamist allies report sharia classes offered to public

April 12, 2013 From our correspondent in A-Raqqa City, who […]

12 April 2013

April 12, 2013

From our correspondent in A-Raqqa City, who has asked to remain unnamed for his safety.

A-RAQQA: The governor’s palace, which last month was commandeered by Jabhat a-Nusra, was bombed on Friday by the Syrian Air Force with no casualties reported.

Despite airstrikes and mortar shells lobbed from the besieged Division 17 two kilometers outside the provincial capital of A-Raqqa City, people are enjoying their first taste of freedom. Protests today in the province’s second city of Tabaqah took place under the banner “Syria is above division,” a reference to rumors that the regime would split Syrian provinces in order to claim control over sections of certain provinces it is fighting for, or already lost.

Video courtesy of LCC-Tabaqah.

Some hand-drawn signs held up at the protest include: “Jabhat a-Nusra says I’m an infidel,” [the Prophet] “Muhammad said the best jihad is confronting a tyrant with the truth” and “Christians and Muslims! The Syrian people are united as one.”

The city and almost all the province are under the rule of the Free Syrian Army and its Islamist allies. The FSA and Islamist battalions are providing classes in sharia law to members of the public in mosques and government buildings.

The regime’s former governor, Hassan Jalali, said in the early months of the Syrian revolution that he would make an example of the largely tribal northeastern province by tightening security and crushing any dissent. Jalali was arrested last month as Jabhat a-Nusra and forces allied with the FSA took over the governor’s building and other institutions in A-Raqqa City.

A citizen journalist captures the Syrian military’s airstrike targeting the governor’s palace on Friday. No injuries were reported. Video courtesy of a-Raqqa News Agency.

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