‘Military police’ attempt to stem defections

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The Islamic Military Police, a recently established organ of the Islamic State (IS), is arresting any non-Syrian fighters resisting security checks in an effort to stem the increasing tide of defecting foreign fighters, reported the pro-opposition media campaign Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered on its Facebook page Sunday. IS established military police units in A-Raqqa province late last year following its defeat in Kobani, Firat al-Wifa, a Raqqa-based journalist, told Syria Direct on Monday. “Their official mission is to forcibly return fleeing fighters to the front lines,” al-Wafa said. The units stop IS foreign fighters at checkpoints and comb the streets of Tabqa city in patrol cars, Silently Slaughtered reported. Heavy-handed checkpoints and night patrols brought IS military police and foreign fighters to blows on at least one occasion, when a group of non-Syrian IS fighters being questioned were asked to produce their passports, according to the Silently Slaughtered post. IS is particularly wary of urban-based foreign fighters in A-Raqqa province as the proximity of cities such as A-Raqqa and Kobani near the Turkish border has tempted many to defect, reported the British independent Al-Quds Al-Arabi at the time of the Islamic Military Police’s establishment in December of last year.