SDF identification papers expose holders to blackmail and security risks at regime’s checkpoints

A regime army soldier and SDF fighter raise the flags of both sides in Ayn al-Arab city in the countryside of Aleppo - 20 October 2019 (Sputnik)

A regime army soldier and SDF fighter raise the flags of both sides in Ayn al-Arab city in the countryside of Aleppo - 20 October 2019 (Sputnik)


At the first security checkpoint of the Syrian regime in the town of al-Dibsi in the western countryside of Raqqa, Abdul Azim, 44, hides his identification papers issued by the institutions of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), fearing that the Syrian security forces will notice the papers he was hiding, but this is what actually happened.

Abdul Azim (Enab Baladi withheld his last name for security reasons) indicated that the regime members began blackmailing and intimidating him when they asked him to get off the bus and told the driver to continue his journey from AANES-held areas towards the city of Aleppo. However, the man quickly corrected the matter and gave the elements a sum of money in exchange for letting him go on his way.

Identification papers issued by the Autonomous Administration institutions in northeastern Syria, carried by travelers towards the Syrian regime areas, make them prey to blackmail and security risks at the regime’s military checkpoints.

People traveling from the Autonomous Administration areas to the regime-held areas are forced to carry identification papers issued by the AANES, such as sponsorship papers, driver’s licenses, or commercial and industrial records so that they can return to it in the event of their departure towards the regime’s areas of influence.

Frequent cases

Saeed, 50, a bus driver in Raqqa, told Enab Baladi that extortion incidents recur during most of the trips he took from the Autonomous Administration areas to the regime areas.

Saeed, who asked not to reveal his full name for security reasons, pointed out that the incidents of arresting those holders of AANES identification documents at the Syrian regime’s checkpoints are very few and sometimes rare, but the incidents of extortion and bribery from holders of those papers are frequent.

Transportation trips between the city of Raqqa and the areas inside Syria returned to work after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of the city in October 2017, after the departure of the Islamic State (IS), as the group had previously stopped trips towards the regime’s areas of influence almost permanently.

According to some cases monitored by Enab Baladi, most of the travelers to the regime’s areas from northeastern Syria are patients, university students, and merchants, in addition to people who want to obtain official papers from the regime’s institutions.

A security source in the SDF’s Internal Security Forces (Asayish) said that the security forces tolerate travelers coming from regime-controlled areas but at the same time focus on the “effectiveness” of the procedures, including the need for those wishing to enter the area to carry identification papers issued by it.

The source, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to disclose to the media, considered that the blackmail incidents carried out by the regime forces for travelers are not limited to holders of identification papers issued by the AANES institutions but rather the regime’s military checkpoints use any excuse to blackmail the travelers financially.

There are several crossings linking the AANES areas with the areas under the control of the Syrian regime, including smuggling crossings that are subject to the provisions of smugglers and militias, especially in Deir Ezzor, such as the Shuhail crossing on the Euphrates River, in addition to the presence of official crossings such as the al-Tayha crossing in Manbij, The al-Tabqa crossing, near the city of al-Tabqa, and the al-Akairshi crossing in the southeastern countryside of Raqqa.


النسخة العربية من المقال

Related Articles

  1. Northeastern Syria students are target of double recruitment campaigns
  2. SDF readiness to ally with Syrian regime raises concerns in eastern Euphrates
  3. Raqqa: Syrian regime, SDF compete to win over Arab tribes
  4. Raqqa: IDPs suffer countless security raids, arrests

Propaganda distorts the truth and prolongs the war..

Syria needs free media.. We need your support to stay independent..

Support Enab Baladi..

$1 a month makes a difference..

Click here to support