Families of ISIS jihadists arrive in Syria’s Margada after escaping Iraq

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Veiled women sit on a bench in Raqqa. File photo

ARA News 

Hasakah – Dozens of Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists arrived on Saturday in the Syrian border town of Margada along with their families. The jihadists came from positions in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate, which have been evacuated. 

Local sources told ARA News that more than 90 ISIS members, along with their families, arrived in Margada town–near the administrative borders between Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor Governorates. Eyewitnesses reported that there were at least 25 families in the ISIS convoy.

Also on Saturday, several ISIS military vehicles passed through al-Qa’im crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The vehicles continued on to al-Bukamal city in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Governorate.

“The vehicles crossed the border in the early morning on Saturday, carrying weapons and dozens of ISIS fighters,” local media activist Ahmed Hamwi told ARA News. 

Today’s movement is part of a larger redeployment and comes just one day after ISIS militants abandoned their headquarters in Tel Afar District, which is also in Nineveh Governorate.

Islamic State Retrenches

The extremist group withdrew on Friday from the city of Tel Afar and several other Arab communities, including the towns of A’nna, Rawah and al-Qaim. 

“Dozens of ISIS military vehicles have left Tel Afar carrying weapons and militants. Most of the vehicles headed to the Syrian border,” Iraqi media activist Adel al-Jabouri told ARA News on Friday.

Military sources reported that the Islamic State’s nerve centers within Tel Afar and its suburbs had been emptied. The terrorist organization evacuated the offices of the al-Hisba police, the Sharia court buildings, jihadi training camps and fortified armories.

Carrying out a scorched earth campaign, ISIS militants bombed the Tel Afar Hospital before their withdrawal. “The hospital has been destroyed completely. The group bombed it by detonating a great deal of explosives,” al-Jabouri reported.

“By evacuating those parts of Nineveh, ISIS is trying to avoid further losses [from] coalition airstrikes,” Raafat al-Zarari, the head of Nineveh Media Centre, told ARA News. “ISIS is mainly focused on the battle for Mosul at the moment, considering the evacuated locations of less strategic importance.”

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News

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