Palmyra, SANA – Following planning and coordination that took more than four months, the authorities secured the exit of an armed group from al-Tanf area near the Syrian-Iraqi borders, with the militants handing over their weapons and vehicles to the Syrian Arab Army.
A source from the authorities involved in this process told SANA’s reporter that 28 militants and 6 drivers from the so-called “Jaish Maghawir al-Thawra” group, which works under the supervision of the US occupation forces, arrived at Palmyra city where they handed over all their weapons and equipment to take advantage of the amnesty decrees.
The source said 8 vehicles, some of which are equipped with heavy machineguns, have been turned in, in addition to 5 machineguns, 3 sniper rifles, 7 M16 rifles, 8 Russian rifles, 2 RPG launchers, and a grenade launcher, along with assorted ammo, regular and night-vision binoculars, and communication devices.
Ghannam Samir al-Khedair, aka Abu Hamza, who was the leader of the group, told SANA’s reporter that he and his fellow militants had been displaced from the east of Sweida to Daraa by Daesh (ISIS), and after that they went to Jordan and trained there after coordinating with the leader of “Ahrar al-Ashaer,” and then they were sent to operate at al-Rukban Camp.
He said that at one point, they discovered that most of relief supplies were being sold to Daesh, and after joining “Jaish Maghawir al-Thawra” they discovered that this group also supports Daesh, so they no longer trusted any of the groups and decided to turn themselves over to the Syrian Army.
Al-Khedair said that there are other armed groups in al-Tanf that want to turn themselves over, but they’re waiting for a suitable opportunity, noting that he and his group came under attack when they left the area.
For his part, Khaled Samir al-Khedair, who was a member of a recon team in al-Tanf, said there are several groups armed with high-tech weapons and drones that are being trained by the US occupation in al-Tanf area, and these groups are tasked with attacking Syrian Arab Army sites, petroleum and gas fields, and infrastructure.
Salah Rashid al-Zaher, aka Abu Odai, said that while he was at al-Tanf base, he saw military vehicles transporting militants from al-Rukban to the base to receive training, and afterwards they would be sent to other areas to carry out acts of sabotage against oil and gas wells and army positions.
He also said that while he was in al-Rukban camp, he saw that large amounts of aid would be delivered to the camp, but most of it ended up being sent to Daesh by armed groups affiliated with the US forces, while other amounts were handed over to certain individuals who would sell it at exuberant prices to displaced people in the camp.