by Sarbaz Yusuf, ARA News
Erbil, Kurdistan Region – Over the previous days, the city of Raqqa, in northeastern Syria, has seen several splits in the ranks of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS), followed by arrest campaigns against a number of the group’s members.
The most prominent dissident name was Abu Talha al-Kuwaiti, the head of the al-Hisba security force of the group in the state of Raqqa, who fled with eight militants to an unknown destination, which led to imposing curfew in the city as well as carrying out raids and arrests.
Following the defection of al-Kuwaiti, the IS hardline group appointed Abu Huzaifa al-Balijiki as head of Hisba force in the state of Raqqa.
This comes in light of the media blackout imposed by the group.
Military sources in Raqqa told ARA News that the escape of al-Kuwaiti was behind a big coup process led by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the IS alderman of Raqqa.
Al-Ansari, aka Abu Luqman, was reportedly fighting in the ranks of al-Nusra Front (Syria’s al-Qaeda branch) before joining the IS and being named as the governor of Raqqa.
“Two weeks ago, Abu Luqman was found dead, but the IS didn’t announce the news of his death or the conditions behind it,” a local source in Raqqa (who spoke on the condition of anonymity) said on Sunday.
The same source reported that al-Ansari (Abu Luqman) was earlier accused of coordinating with Abu Talha al-Kuwaiti to carry out a coup against the leadership of the IS group in eastern Syria.
The Islamic State hasn’t issued any statement yet regarding the rebellion of al-Kwaiti or the death of al-Ansari.
Last week, the hardline group of IS executed at least 60 foreign militants who defected from the group’s ranks in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
On Thursday, the IS militants shot dead four other members in the neighborhood of Rumaila in central Raqqa after describing them as traitors. The group shot the four members dead under the pretext of preserving the group’s unity. The militants killed in Rumaila were Tunisian nationals who had joined the group months ago.
The Islamic State has recently started launching organized campaigns of arrests and assassinations against its own members in different areas under its control, mainly because of their refusal to follow orders and attempts of rebellion.