Aleppo: Military Security takes charge of “security chaos” control

A security checkpoint for Syrian regime forces at one of the entrances to Aleppo city - 2018 (Reuters)

A security checkpoint for Syrian regime forces at one of the entrances to Aleppo city - 2018 (Reuters)

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The influence sharing between the Syrian regime’s security branches in the northern city of Aleppo has created a state of security chaos, reflected in the high rate of crimes and drug trafficking over the past six years since the security partition deal went into effect.

At the beginning of April, the notorious Military Intelligence was entrusted with the task of eliminating the security chaos in Aleppo, sources told Enab Baladi.

The Military Security Branch, headed by Brigadier General Wafiq Nasser, began at the beginning of April to conduct night patrols within the city’s neighborhoods, in addition to setting up security barriers on roads linking the countryside of Aleppo with the city.

During the recent security campaign, the regime forces seized several cars containing hashish and narcotic pills and, on 6 April, arrested groups of the “Shabiha” militia close to the security services who were working to blackmail civilians in the al-Salihin neighborhood of Aleppo.

A non-commissioned officer in the Military Security Branch spoke to Enab Baladi on condition of anonymity that the Military Security taking over the security file in the city of Aleppo is a declaration of failure of the previous attempt led by State Security Intelligence.

According to the source, the State Security Branch was unable at that time to control the security situation despite its responsibility for this matter for years and the strong grip it imposed on the city’s neighborhoods.

The regime forces, led by the Military Security, arrested a large number of wanted persons and suspects.

They also issued arrest warrants against wanted persons on various charges, including possession of weapons, arms trading, drug trafficking, and kidnapping, the source said.

Changes were also made in terms of the distribution of security points affiliated to each security branch within the city of Aleppo, as a representative was appointed for the concerned branch and a coordinator between it and the rest of the security branches, the source said, expecting a tight security grip on the city in the next few days.

The command of military security will also be expanded during the coming period to include other areas that may reach the entire countryside of Aleppo, according to the source.

First steps

The Military Security Branch is affiliated with the General Intelligence Division and has the independence of working in terms of prosecuting drug and arms dealers and antiquities smugglers.

The branch used its security force before the years of the Syrian revolution, and its recent assignment to control the security situation came after the failure of other branches, according to the source.

The source justified the military security dominance over the security situation because its leaders in Aleppo were directly linked to the Russian forces, unlike other branches backed by Iran or the regime.

One of the Military Security elements told Enab Baladi on condition of anonymity that new partitions are taking place in the governorate on the security front, and they include four sectors, each of which is supervised by an officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

These sectors are classified according to the security risk of each of them separately, and work is underway to prepare nominal lists of wanted persons and suspects in order to track and arrest them.

Members of the security branches in Aleppo carry out frequent arrest campaigns, including civilians, who are often released after paying large sums of money by their families.

Periodically, units of the Military Security Branch and the Military Police are deployed in separate neighborhoods of the city of Aleppo and set up temporary security checkpoints there to search for those fleeing the mandatory and reserve services.

Security squares

The security branches of the Syrian regime forces established detachments (points) for arrest in the eastern and southern neighborhoods of the city of Aleppo in early 2021, according to what Enab Baladi’s correspondent monitored in Aleppo.

Among the branches whose members were deployed in the detachments are Air Force Intelligence, State Security, Military Security, and Political Security in the eastern and southern neighborhoods.

Each security point included elements from each security branch, and all the elements were affiliated with the General Intelligence Division.

Security detachments were established at the entrances and exits of the neighborhoods of al-Qatirji, al-Jazmati, al-Maysir, Bab al-Nairab, al-Qattanah, Bab al-Hadid, al-Shaar, al-Haidaria, al-Sakhour, al-Bab Road, and other neighborhoods.

It is a building in which there is a place for arrest and detention of suspects or those fleeing from compulsory and reserve service, a serviceman of Air Force Intelligence and another of Military Security told Enab Baladi.

Most of the detainees at the new points are transferred to the Security Branch, and it is possible that the detachments will cover the western neighborhoods in the next stage.

The Syrian regime forces had taken control of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo at the end of 2016, but the arrests continued even after the opposition factions left.


Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Aleppo Saber al-Halabi contributed to this report.

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