(McCain with kidnappers of Lebanese pilgrims-file photo)
“Oqab Saqr ordered the kidnapping of Lebanese pilgrims in Azaz”
Mazen Ali Hamoush a member of the so-called “Storm of North Brigade “, said that the Lebanese MP of al-Mustaqbal bloc Oqab Sakr has ordered his militant group to kidnap the Lebanese pilgrims coming from Turkey to Aleppo as they were passing in the area of Aazaz, SANA news agency reported.
“Saqr is involved in the coordination of funding and arming militants in Syria as well, he added.
Hamoush also confessed to his involvement in murder and kidnapping actions with terrorists from Tunisia, Libya, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Egypt and other countries.
In confessions aired on Syrian state television, Hamoush said that he first participated in the siege on the military security building in Aazaz for 18 days with a number of armed groups from the town and its countryside, including the group of Ammar Dadikhi called “Storm of North Brigade”, and the group of Ammar Ahmad Obaid, with the participation of armed groups from Tunisia and Libya.
“I was a member of the Dadikhi’s group who used to abduct civilians in Aazaz in order to spread division amongst the people. We established a private jail in the mountain area near the border with Turkey to put the kidnapped including one of my relatives. Dadikhi used to kill some of the hostages in order to terrorize people,” Hamoush added.
“The armed groups in the area were used to meet with Saqr in the Bab al-Salama camps in order to coordinate access to weapons, ammunition and money. Sometimes operations were managed through telephone communications,” the terrorist went on to say.
“Saqr ordered us to hijack a bus carrying Lebanese passengers, informing us that it will cross the Turkish border to Aleppo via Aazaz, where we kidnapped them. Later we freed the women and kept the men. Dadikhi put them first in his family home and transferred them later to al-Koroom border area with Turkey, about 7 kilometers north of Aazaz, and we lost contact with them,” he further elaborated.
Hamoush noted that Dadikhi has been killed in Turkey by a gunshot in the vicinity of Aleppo Ming Airport.
“Later, we heard that the Turkish intelligence has killed him in order to hide any information about the whereabouts of the kidnapped Lebanese in Aazaz.”
“After Dadikhi’s death, some disputes emerged and leadership of the “Storm of North Brigade” was handled to “Samir Amuri, Dadikhi’s assistant, and Samao Salo, a chemistry teacher. Then the relations soared between us as another person, named Mohammad Alshash, recruited within the group, designed to form a new brigade dubbed “Martyr Ammar Brigade,” Hamoush indicated.
“We were asked to support the militants located in al-Qusayr in Homs countryside. So we headed a group to the East Bowayda with five members. Another armed group of Tawhid Brigade went to the place,” he said.
“When we arrived at al-Qusayr, four militants of my group were killed at once as a lot others of militants, primarily of Tawhid Brigade, were also killed. Then I fled away from the area,” he went on to say.
“Militants’ morale began to collapse since the Syrian army took over the area of Sheikh Saeed. It was deteriorated as the army controlled al-Qusayr in Homs and Abed Rabbo town near Aleppo, because it led to the cut of supply line coming from Aleppo countryside to the city,” Hamoush noted.
“Gunmen from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and other countries were accompanying us. I also had militants with me from within the group: Ibrahim Qarajah from the ‘Free of Sham’, Mohammad Amuri from the ‘Storm of North’ and Hadi Samao Salo. Two of them were killed in the vicinity of Ming Airport.”
He pointed out that every person who enters Turkey wounded and dies there, his organs are stolen in order to be sold and purchase weapons of their price.
US Leaves 700 troops in Jordan as CIA Trained Militants Fighting in Syria
US President Barack Obama said the United States left around 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after a training exercise in the country.
In a letter to US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Friday, Obama said that the deployment was made at the request of the Jordanian government. He stated that about 700 of the US troops deployed to Jordan as part of a military training exercise, which ended on Thursday, would stay in the country.
“The troops will stay until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer required”, Obama claimed, but provided no further details.
“This detachment that participated in the exercise and remained in Jordan includes Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control, and communications personnel and systems,” Obama said.
This came as a report by The Los Angeles Times said CIA operatives have been secretly providing the Syrian militants with training on the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons for months.
Since the opening of a new US base in the desert in southwest of Jordan in November 2012, the CIA operatives and US special operations troops have covertly trained the militants in groups of 20 to 45 at a time in two-week courses, the report said.
The militants receive training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, and 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a militant commander in the Syrian province of Dara’a.
“Those from the CIA, we would sit and talk with them during breaks from training and afterward, they would try to get information on the situation inside” Syria, the report quoted the unnamed commander as saying.
The training program has also been conducted in Turkey, the report said.
Yahya Bittar, another militant commander, said the training is conducted by US, Jordanian and French operatives, adding that up to 100 militants have been sent back across the border to Syria after taking the course in Jordan over the past month.