Kidnapping civilians in Raqqa has become a new source of funding for Assad loyalists and intelligence officers.

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Kidnapping and looting operations have dramatically increased in Assad-held areas in the eastern countryside of Raqqa, causing an alarming state of insecurity, a Raqqa24 correspondent said today.



According to the correspondent, some tribal figures, including Abidan Mukhlaf, the brother of a commander of the pro-Assad Ashayer Army ‘Turki Al Buhamad Karkaa’, formed some gang groups that are now conducting kidnapping and looting operations in the area, causing chaos, horror and instability.

The gangs are now based in the countryside of Maadan where they have a headquarter in which they detain kidnapped people. After kidnapping people, they demand ransoms from their families in exchnage for their release, bearing in mind that the ransoms may reach milions of SYP sometimes.


The correspondent said, ‘ the groups are operating under the command of a an officer at the Air Intelligence Branch called ‘Adnan Abass’, who is in charge of the security file of the eastern region. He also gets a share from the ransoms that are paid by the families of the kidnapped.


The increase in kidnapping operations have pushed many capitals and doctors to flee from Al-Tabqah towards SDF-held aeas because of fear of facing the same destinty of the kidnapped. The latter are subjected to torture, and recieve death threats as a means to force their loved ones to pay the exact amount of  ransom.