The “Salvation Government,” functioning in Idlib, is willing to hand a French little girl over to the French Embassy in Turkey, years after her abduction by French militants in the governorate.
A source informed of the delivery process has today, Monday (November 26), told Enab Baladi that the little girl, called “Yasmine”, is to be handed over at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. The operation will be covered in a livestreamed press conference on the part of the “Salvation Government.”
This is not the first time that foreigners be delivered by the “Salvation Government,” as it was preceded by several cases, including the handing over of two Canadian citizens in February 2018.
In addition to the release of the Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda after he was kidnapped by a group said to be affiliated with “al-Nusra Front,” which dissolved into “Tahrir al-Sham.”
“Yasmine” is four years old, and her kidnapping by “jihadist” French militants in Idlib dates back to 2017. An armed group, led by the French militant “Omar Omsen,” dubbed “Omar Diaby” and leader “Abu Waqqas al-Faransy,” held the girl captive after the death of her French father, who fought beside them in one of Idlib’s battles.
These militants fought under a body called “al-Ghurabaa Group,” which later on announced joining the “Guardians of Religion Organization” classified as one of the “hardliner” groups in Idlib governorate.
Following the girl’s captivity, “Omar Diaby,” the group leader, negotiated with the girl’s mother concerning releasing her in return for a ransom, knowing that the mother is Belgian by nationality, and her daughter was arrested by the French militants after the death of her husband.
The French leader kept the negotiations on for the past months as to get the ransom, which triggered the mother, last February, to call on the Belgian authorities from San Jose in Brussels to save her daughter Yasmine.
“Al-Zubayer al-Ghazi,” leader in “Tahrir al-Sham” has, last week, posted a video recording onto his “Telegram” account, presenting a recorded WhatsApp call between the mother and leader “Abu Waqqas al-Faransy,” in which the latter demanded €20,000 to release the girl.
Who Is Omar Diaby?
Diaby’s real name is Omar Omsen, 41 years old. The French authorities say that “he is responsible for recruiting 80% of the French speaking jihadists who went to Syria and Iraq.”
French media outlets report that Diaby was born in Senegal and moved to live in France as a child, before he turned into an “extremist” following a period in prisons.
Diaby moved to Syria in 2013 and headed a jihadist regiment in Latakia’s woods. He is viewed as the spiritual leader of his group.
He released a series of videos called “HH19,” in reference to the 19 persons who executed the Spetmebr11 attacks in the U.S. 2001.
In September 2016, the U. S. Department of State classified Omar Diyaby as a terrorist at the level of the world.
The U. S. Department of State, according to “Reuters,” has back then said: “Diyaby heads a group of about 50 foreign militants in Syria, which participated in terrorist operations with the extremist al-Nusra Front that changed its name to al-Fath Front.”
The Confrontation Phase
On November 15, activists have reported a news on social media, saying that “Tahrir al-sham” indulged in confrontations with the “Guardians of Religion Organization” in the city of Harem, rural Idlib, which later was clarified as relating to the little girl “Yasmine.”
According to Enab Baladi’s information, the mother contacted “Tahrir al-Sham” in the past days concerning her daughter and the ransom that the kidnappers are asking for, which triggered “Tahrir al-Sham” to storm the French jihadists’ post in Harem, northern rural Idlib.
During the confrontations, “Tahrir al-Sham” arrested seven migrants, most of whom are French by nationality, which led to a tension with the “Guardians of Religion Organization,” which in turn erected checkpoints because the detainees are its affiliates officially.
Negotiations and Release
Two weeks passed since the confrontations between the “Tahrir al-Sham” and the “Guardians of Religion Organization” in Harem, followed with the formation of the so called “Picked Committee,” assigned to end the suspended disputes between the two.
According to the Committee’s statement, the following key figures were chosen to end the dispute: Abdul al-Karim al-Masri and Abu Mohammad al-Sudani as representatives of the “Guardians of Religion Organization” and Abu Malik al-Shami (al-Tali) as a representative of “Tahrir al-Sham.”
The statement also provided that a dual judicial committee was also formed as to study the case and finalize it completely.
A day following the formation of the mentioned committee, an official resolution by the two sides was published, including the verdict of the dual judiciary committee, which also decided to remove “Yasmine” from the custody of the jihadist “Omar Omsen.”
The verdict also provided for handing the little girl to her mother, after the “inspection of the mother’s eligibility to have custody over the girl, since he mother is originally a Muslim, and the contrast was not proven.”