ISIS MEMBERS PAY THOUSANDS TO ESCAPE SOUTH DAMASCUS VIA OPPOSITION AREAS

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Encircled members of ISIS-affiliated Jaysh Khaled bin al-Walid group, escape south Damascus in dozens by contacting smugglers, who transport them via opposition-held areas as far as to the border with Turkey.

The price is the same for militants and civilians alike, lying approximately between $4000-5000.

At least two ISIS military commanders were reported to leave south Damascus with the help of the smugglers. Last December, ISIS commander Abu Masoud al-Khabour left Al-Hajr Al-Aswad district for Idlib province. He was reportedly killed of a heart attack two weeks later.
In January, another prominent ISIS commander Abu Musaab al-Turkmani managed to escape the encirclement and reach Turkey. According to local sources, he was accompanied by several other ISIS members.

To escaped the Damascus suburb, almost completely encircled by the Syrian army, the smugglers use a route running through Al-Maadaniya district, which is controlled by Ajnad al-Sham group. Several civilians confirmed that they were transported out of south Damascus via Al-Maadaniya.

After that, the smugglers and their clients go through governmenr checkpoints under the disguise of civilians until they reach Qalaat Al-Madiq town in northern Hama, a crossing between government and opposition territory. From there, they could travel across the opposition areas or leave for Turkey.

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