WELCOME HOME: IS-affiliated Euphrates News Agency published video footage Wednesday reportedly showing Shaitat tribe members returning to their village after a three-month exile and the massacre of up to 700 of their tribesmen by Islamic State fighters in Deir e-Zor.
One tribesman appearing in the video denied responsibility for provoking the wrath of IS. “Since the beginning, we didn’t do anything; the trouble (fitna) was caused by saboteurs and oil traders and thieves who dispersed the Shaitat.”
“The people want peace, and to sow their fields.”
A member of the Islamic State who appeared in the video welcomed the tribesmen back: “We, your brothers in the Islamic State, bless and celebrate the return of our brothers from the Shaitat tribe.”
IS executed more than 700 members of the Shaitat—primarily civilians—in August and expelled them from their homes in eastern Deir e-Zor after the tribe rebelled against IS rule, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Now, the Islamic State has placed harsh restrictions on Shaitat members who opted to come home.
Gatherings are prohibited, residents must turn over their weapons and admit that fellow tribesmen who fought IS are “apostates,” according to a recent announcement from the Islamic State titled the “Rules for the Repentant,” which circulated widely on social media in mid-November. The statement’s authenticity was corroborated by a Shaitat tribesman who spoke to Syria Direct.
“The Islamic State allows displaced Sunnis from Shaitat villages to return to their homes,” reads the caption accompanying the picture above that circulated on social media Wednesday.
An Islamic State (IS) commander in Deir e-Zor declared that the Shaitat tribe could go back home in early November on the order of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a recording circulated by local media campaign Deir e-Zor Under Fire.
-November 27, 2014
-Photo courtesy of @shar8ea.
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