The confessions of ISIS cell members apprehended in the Heseke operation

Six of those arrested during the Security Operation carried out by the SDF, YPJ and Internal Security Forces on April 20 admitted to involvement with ISIS during interrogations.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in collaboration with the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) and Internal Security Forces, launched a joint security and military operation on April 20th. The operation, targeting the outskirts of Heseke city, was based on intelligence gathered by security institutions regarding the activities of ISIS sleeper cells within these areas. The objective was to apprehend members of these cells, along with any suspected collaborators or individuals deemed threats to public safety.

The thorough combing and search of designated locations resulted in the successful apprehension of 40 suspected ISIS sleeper cell members. Additionally, a significant quantity of weapons and ammunition was seized.

During interrogations, six terrorists admitted to involvement with ISIS. Their confessions published by the SDF Media Center revealed the following:

Ahmad Fawaz al-Rahman, alias “Abu Othman al-Baraka,” from al-Hasakah, joined ISIS in 2021 while working in Lebanon. He later returned to al-Hasakah, which he referred to as “al-Baraka province,” and participated in the “al-Zubair bin al-Awam battalion” within the city.

Ahmad Fawaz al-Rahman, admitted to his terrorist activities including collecting money or the so-called “zakat” from merchants in al-Hasakah through intimidation tactics, and threatening to burn shops and property if they did not comply. Participating in later attacks against military targets in the region, including an operation aligned with the “kill them wherever you find them” directive issued by ISIS before the new year. Facilitating the transfer of funds on behalf of ISIS. He revealed that money was received from the ISIS leaders in Turkey and distributed to members in al-Hasakah and Raqqa. Additionally, funds forcibly collected from merchants were also transferred back to Turkey.

The second terrorist, Omar Muhammad al-Sayyid, is from the city of al-Hasakah, “Four months before my arrest, I met a person named Ahmad al-Nadi, who knew that I owned a car. He spoke to me on the phone and told me that he was coming to me from the “Ab al-Shawk” area with a sum of money. I went to him and found a cube-shaped bag with him, but I did not verify whether it was money or something else. After I was arrested, I learned that it was filled with weapons, mines, and explosives.”

The third terrorist, Muhammad Ahmad al-Ahmad, also a resident of the al-Salhiya neighborhood in al-Hasakah, confessed to the terrorist acts he committed: “I used to work in a mobile phone shop, and my relationship with Ahmad Fawaz was that he used to work with me, as we are from the same clan, but he was a religious extremist.”

“Following the apprehending of Ahmad Fawaz, an ISIS member from Qamishli spoke to me and asked me to hide a bomb and a 7mm pistol that was inside the shop in a safe place. Later, I found out that Ahmad Fawaz had carried out assassinations with that pistol.” He added.

The fourth terrorist, Muhammad Amin Khalil al-Obeid, a resident of the al-Salhiya neighborhood in Hasakah city, was employed at Rohin Remittance and Exchange Company. In his confessions, he mentioned his acquaintance with Ahmad Fawaz, a fellow villager known for his devout religious adherence. Al-Obeid disclosed that before his apprehension, Fawaz had entrusted him with the task of receiving several money transfers from overseas, totaling approximately fifty dollars each. These funds were directed to be forwarded to Qamishli, a request to which he complied with. Al-Obeid further affirmed that the remittances originated from Lebanon and Turkey.

The fifth terrorist, Muhammad Fawaz Rahman, is a resident of al-Salhiya neighborhood in al-Hasakah city and the younger brother of Ahmad Fawaz. He said: “My brother Ahmad arrived in Daraa to fight with ISIS against the Syrian regime forces, but he stayed for two months in the capital Damascus, during which he joined a training course, then he returned to al-Hasakah, and we did not know that he had joined ISIS, but he remained religiously strict.”

The sixth terrorist, Yusuf Fawaz Rahman, is a resident of the al-Salhiya neighborhood in al-Hasakah city. He said: “My brother Ahmad went to Daraa to fight with ISIS against the Syrian regime forces. He was arrested by the Syrian regime, but he was released shortly afterward. We didn’t know that he had joined ISIS.”

“The confessions of those terrorists once again emphasize the need for all parties involved in the fight against terrorism to fulfill their responsibilities and bear the burden of this struggle that our forces have been waging for years, after terrorism has proven that it has no borders and targets international peace and security on a global scale,” said the SDF Media Center.