A-Raqqa residents demand Jabhat a-Nusra release detainees


June 20, 2013

PROTESTING JABHAT A-NUSRA: Relatives of men arrested by Jabhat a-Nusra protest earlier this week in front of the militant group’s headquarters in A-Raqqa City to demand information about detainees. “We are here because of those who were arrested, why were they arrested?” one protester asked. One girl says Jabhat a-Nusra “thinks that they are Muslims.

I want them to release my father. He has been there for a month, and I miss him so much,” she says.

Two other veiled women tell the crowd: “We will not accept this repressive Islam.” We are Muslims, they say. “They [Jabhat a-Nusra] treat us worse than the regime,” one woman shouts. When she sees the Islamist militants filming her, knowing that could lead to her arrest later, she yells back at them: “Don’t film me, you coward. If you do, you will be accountable before God and the Syrian people.”

Al-Raqqa is the only province is almost entirely in the rebels’ controlled by Jabhat a-Nusra. It lies on mid-north of Syria along the north bank of the Euphrates River. In recent weeks, the regime has stepped up attacks on the provincial capital of A-Raqqa City by using barrel bombs and air strikes that this week targeted the National Hospital. Meanwhile, rebels continue to fight the regime for control of the key Division 17 base just outside A-Raqqa City.. The sit-in started in the morning and lasted into the night. Video courtesy of Syria Civil State

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