SCRIPTED ADMISSION: In what appears to a forced confession, a captured officer who identifies himself as Saadallah Junaid of the rebel Ahfad al-Rasoul brigades says he and other officers were ordered to fight Islamist militias after their top brass secured funds from France and Qatar.
Junaid says the Ahfad al-Rasoul Brigades officers met near the Turkish border crossing at Bab al-Hawa and were directed by the brigades’ leader, Major Maher al-Naaimi, to fight al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups currently active in Syria.
Junaid appears to be handcuffed and as if he is reading from a paper behind the camera. The officer says that the Bab al-Hawa meeting was held after al-Naaimi returned from a visit to France.
“Taking control of the oil wells and the expulsion of Islamic battalions are the conditions of an agreement between the FSA Joint Command and the [Syrian National] Coalition with Maher al-Naaimi, the commander of the [Ahfad a-Rasoul] brigades,” Junaid says about the meeting at Bab al-Hawa.
In the video, Junaid says he worked as a police officer in a-Raqqa and in political security in Damascus for 11 years prior to joining the revolution.
“France and Qatar pledged to support battalions and brigades that are committed to fighting the ISIS [al-Qaeda],” Judaid adds.
Ahfad al-Rasoul, a rebel faction that operates independently but often alongside the Free Army, has clashed with the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham as recently as this week. On Wednesday, three ISIS fighters were killed in shootouts with Ahfad al-Rasoul forces in a-Raqqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In the tape Junaid identifies himself as an officer with the 201st Ahfad al-Rasol Brigade, but the organization’s leadership denied any affiliation with the brigade.
“Yesterday a statement from Ahfad al-Rasol said that the 201st Brigade does not belong to them, and that it is not recognized by them,” said Col. Abdul Baset Saaddin, Chief of Staff of the United Syria Front, under the command of the Homs Joint Command.
“We do not fight anyone who stands with us against the criminal regime, but sometimes we [must] fight wrong on either side,” he added.
No faction has claimed credit for the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on August 8.
Video courtesy of I Hate The Media Blackout (Akrah al-Taatem al-Ealame).