Questions over mandatory enlistment in A-Raqqa





North A-Raqqa provinceAugust 20, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-8-20-15/Activists from A-Raqqa province accused the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa, a Free Syrian Army faction, of “forcing” residents of Arab villages in the Kurdish-majority north to enlist, in a report published by Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered (RBSS) on Thursday. “For the past 10 days, the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa has been forcing Arabs who remain in areas under Kurdish control to enlist with them,” Hamoud al-Mousa, a member of RBSS and the author of the report, told Syria Direct on Thursday. “This is the first behavior of its type we have seen from the Free Syrian Army,” he added. The Euphrates Volcano FSA-Kurdish coalition now controls northern A-Raqqa province after driving out the Islamic State, leaving the Rebel Brigade of a-Raqqa in control of the Arab villages in Ayn Issa, a region between Tal Abyad and A-Raqqa city. A spokesperson from the FSA brigade attributed the claims to a misunderstanding. “We are not implementing a policy of mandatory enlistment, but we requested from every village a group of people to protect their villages to prevent the Islamic State from returning,” said Abu Muath al-Raqqa, a spokesperson with the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa. “I think that the issue with the enlistment isn’t that it is mandatory, but some inappropriate practices by the brigade’s ranks are behind it,” Furat al-Wafaa, an activist in the Raqqa countryside, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
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Activists from A-Raqqa province accused the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa, a Free Syrian Army faction, of “forcing” residents of Arab villages in the Kurdish-majority north to enlist, in a report published by Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered (RBSS) on Thursday. “For the past 10 days, the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa has been forcing Arabs who remain in areas under Kurdish control to enlist with them,” Hamoud al-Mousa, a member of RBSS and the author of the report, told Syria Direct on Thursday. “This is the first behavior of its type we have seen from the Free Syrian Army,” he added. The Euphrates Volcano FSA-Kurdish coalition now controls northern A-Raqqa province after driving out the Islamic State, leaving the Rebel Brigade of a-Raqqa in control of the Arab villages in Ayn Issa, a region between Tal Abyad and A-Raqqa city. A spokesperson from the FSA brigade attributed the claims to a misunderstanding. “We are not implementing a policy of mandatory enlistment, but we requested from every village a group of people to protect their villages to prevent the Islamic State from returning,” said Abu Muath al-Raqqa, a spokesperson with the Rebel Brigade of A-Raqqa. “I think that the issue with the enlistment isn’t that it is mandatory, but some inappropriate practices by the brigade’s ranks are behind it,” Furat al-Wafaa, an activist in the Raqqa countryside, told Syria Direct on Thursday.