PANIC ROOM: A well-known regime officer was captured by Jabhat a-Nusra (JAN) in the Jabal al-Zawia region of southern Idlib Sunday night after a helicopter he was flying crashed in unclear circumstances, reported the pro-opposition al-Hal al-Suri news outlet on Monday.
According to local activists, the officer, seen here in a screen shot from a video posted late Sunday night shows Yousef al-Najar in the custody of a Jabhat a-Nusra commander and sharia scholar who goes by the name Abd al-Mohaisani.
Yousef al-Najar was forcibly captured from Firqa 101’s custody by JAN fighters operating in the area, reported the pro-opposition Murasil al-Suri on Monday.
The officer is from the west Homs countryside and gained notoriety in the early days of the Syrian uprising for commanding various pro-regime forces in the city of Homs, reported the pro-opposition Halab News Outlet on Sunday.
The crash became public when Murasil al-Suri posted video on Sunday allegedly shot by members of Firqa 101, an FSA unit operating in Idlib province. It shows rebels capturing and beating the helicopter’s crew members near the site of the crash.
Conflicting reports have circulated regarding the reason for the crash, with some sources claiming the helicopter suffered technical failures while others maintaining that it was shot down by rebels, according to Murasil al-Suri’s report.
-March 23, 2015
-Photo courtesy of Safenat
For more from Syria Direct, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.