Islamic State shuts down Internet cafes in Raqqa, arrests Kurdish civilians

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Militants of the Islamic State prepare the beheading of a Syrian man on charges of apostasy in the city of Shaddadi in Hasakah province. File photo

ARA News

Idlib – The Islamic State (ISIS) has shut down several Internet cafes and confiscated dozens of private satellite dishes in Raqqa city, which is located in northeastern Syria. Local sources reported that jihadists also went house to house on Monday, arresting civilians deemed to be unreliable.

“[Militants] stormed internet cafes and civilian houses in a bid to shut down the Internet in Raqqa,” a local media activists told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Most of the Internet cafes in Raqqa city were shut down.”

ISIS militants conjointly raided the houses of Kurdish residents in Raqqa city, detaining whole families. Eyewitnesses reported that the unfortunate civilians were accused of supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Today’s crackdown comes just one day after the Kurdish-led SDF embarked on the Euphrates Wrath Operation, a military campaign to capture Raqqa. The US-backed SDF seized control of 11 villages on Monday, along the Balikh River, north of Raqqa city.

The operation has caused a state of alert in the Islamic State’s ranks. The jihadi group believes that local informers have been leaking information about their movements in Raqqa to the SDF and the US-led coalition. Their efforts to restrict communications are believed to be in response to those fears.

“The Islamic State has tightened security measures inside and around Raqqa city,” human rights activist Kamal Hamdawi told ARA News. “Nobody is allowed to leave the city under any circumstances.”

Reporting by: Jamil Mukarram | Source: ARA News

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