‘Convey us house’: The British IS suspects captured in Syria | International Information

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'Bring us home': The British IS suspects captured in Syria | World News


Sky Information has been given particular get admission to to British and Irish electorate being held in japanese Syria who’re accused of combating for Islamic State (IS).

Not one of the 3 – together with a physician who has labored in dozens of NHS hospitals – had been noticed or heard in the United Kingdom media since they had been arrested via the US-led coalition forces who’re combating IS within the area.

Two are British medics – one being the physician, the opposite a pharmacist from Birmingham – and the 3rd is an Irish citizen who inspired his spouse and kid to sign up for him with the extremists.



The interviews all took place separately, in two different locations



‘I am not a threat’: British IS suspects’ plea

All 3 at the moment are begging their governments to interfere to get them out of prison within the struggle zone the place they’re being held and take them again house.

The plight of hundreds of foreigners accused of becoming a member of the caliphate is a significant headache for his or her house nations, as most of the governments view them as a possible threat after years spent beneath the keep watch over of extremists.

However all 3 insist they pose no chance and are merely determined to renew their former lives.

Interviews with them had been carried out one after the other and at other instances in two separate places, each on Kurdish bases with a coalition presence during.

Alex Crawford and Sky News gained exclusive access to where the prisoners are being held
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A lot of Syria stays a struggle zone

On occasion one, two or 3 males in uniform had been within the room and we had been recommended to not movie them.

In two out of the 3 interviews, a member of the coalition forces recorded them.

Sky Information was once additionally requested to signal a kind agreeing to not ask questions in regards to the stipulations in their detention.

However all 3 males did tentatively broach the topic and not using a urged and every spoke in regards to the chilly, cramped stipulations and deficient meals.

In addition they all spoke about dozens of fellow international IS suspects being held along them, together with US, French, German and Russian nationals.

Deir Ezzor is in eastern Syria
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The prisoners had been held in numerous places

Mohammed Anwar Miah, 40, is the certified pharmacist from Birmingham.

He first went to Syria in 2014, apparently after being investigated and struck off via the Normal Pharmaceutical Council for inventing false workers on the pharmacy the place he labored.

Little has been noticed of him since a brief recording of his arrest ultimate August seemed on-line a couple of weeks later.

The clip, which seems to be from Snapchat, displays him blindfolded together with his fingers tied at the back of his again.

He’s requested to spot himself and he insists he travelled to Syria to lend a hand with humanitarian paintings.

Requested if he joined “daesh” (a derogatory time period for IS), he says he labored in a medical institution in an IS-controlled space.

In his interview with Sky Information, he didn’t wish to communicate in regards to the instances of his dismissal from paintings, announcing best it was once ‘”sophisticated”, and denied he was once dissatisfied with Britain.

However he admitted that if he had no longer misplaced his task, he most likely wouldn’t have long past to Syria.

The US-led coalition has detained many suspected IS fighters
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The USA-led coalition has detained many suspected IS combatants

“I used to be no longer supporting IS in anyway,” he mentioned.

“Had I been there or no longer been there I wouldn’t have benefited them. The individuals who benefited from me had been the native civilians, simply the area people.”

When requested if he had noticed any information within the three-and-a-half years he was once in IS territory, which catalogued the executions, amputations and floggings that the phobia team performed, he mentioned: “Very, little or no. Very, little or no.

“After I first were given there, the web was once all the time very vulnerable after which they went via a length the place they mentioned the web isn’t allowed. After which they mentioned TV isn’t allowed too.

“They got rid of everyone’s dishes they usually put them in a single position and it was once forbidden to have a TV in your home.”

He met and married a Syrian girl whilst there they usually had one kid.

His spouse was once pregnant with some other when he mentioned they determined to take a look at to go away the world.

He mentioned: “It is very tough to go away. It is very bad to go away.

“Even if I left I passed myself in, I wasn’t captured. I left in August 2018 and me, my spouse and my kid, we needed to actually break out with out telling any one.”



Alex Crawford



See within an Islamic State space

Once coalition forces noticed him, he was once segregated, separated from his spouse and arrested as an IS suspect.

However he insists he’s a average British Muslim – this is how he describes himself.

He mentioned: “I will be able to say to everyone in Britain that I am not an IS fighter. I am not a deadly individual. I got here right here to do humanitarian paintings. I’ve harm no one. I’ve accomplished not anything mistaken. I labored in a medical institution.

“Other folks have labelled me with IS for the reason that space was once managed via IS. However I simply did my task operating in a medical institution. I am not a threat to any one. I did humanitarian paintings and if they would like proof, I imply the proof is there.”

He’s obviously clinging to the hope that the British government will repatriate him, insisting he has accomplished no mistaken however in a position to reply to any questions and face no matter justice his compatriots come to a decision he wishes to stand.

The opposite medic – who seemed to had been delivered to the interview one after the other – is Muhammad Saqib Raza.

He strode into the interview room and straight away requested me for any id papers to end up who I’m. I passed him my press card and my passport – he seemed to not had been instructed he can be chatting with us.

His tale is an peculiar one, however he requested: “Why would I make this up? That is my tale and I will be able to’t alternate it.”

Muhammad Saqib Raza is a Pakistani-born doctor
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Muhammad Saqib Raza is a Pakistani-born physician

The Pakistan-born physician, who moved to England in 2008 and received British citizenship beneath the extremely professional migrants programme, labored for 8 years within the NHS.

He travelled up and down England doing locum paintings in additional than 20 NHS hospitals.

He mentioned he was once duped into crossing into Syria after being instructed he may just lend a hand Muslims and acquire treasured paintings enjoy with treating struggle accidents within the Turkish-Syrian border the town of Jarabulus.

As an alternative, he ended up being taken beneath armed guard to Raqqa, being bought to IS, and spending greater than a yr out and in of first IS prisons, then coalition jails.

He’s rising ever extra determined, and requested: “Why am I nonetheless sitting in jail? Why am I no longer being given any justice?

“Is there no justice? Britain is without doubt one of the most powerful nations on the earth. And why has my nation deserted me after I wanted it probably the most?”

IS invaded large swathes of Iraq in 2014
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The boys say they had been IS prisoners prior to being captured via coalition forces

The 3rd guy interviewed via Sky Information is a naturalised Irishman, in the beginning from Belarus.

Alexander Bekmirzaev, 45, spent greater than 20 years dwelling in Eire and was once granted an Irish passport.

He left for Syria in September 2013, intending to stick for only some months, however the next January he prompt his spouse to sign up for him and convey their nine-month-old boy alongside too.

He instructed Sky Information: “I am not a terrorist. I am an unusual individual. I’m hoping I am a just right husband and a just right father, you already know.

“Neatly many of us mentioned, ‘How are you able to deliver your circle of relatives to a struggle zone?’ I made the largest mistake of my lifestyles and I have paid my worth. I have paid the cost.”

Alexander Bekmirzaev spent more than two decades living in Ireland
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Alexander Bekmirzaev spent greater than twenty years dwelling in Eire

The previous safety guard is now imploring the Irish government to take him again. He insists he didn’t battle.

He mentioned: “I refused to battle. And on the finish, when you didn’t battle, you didn’t devour. I didn’t battle so I didn’t devour.

“I ate grass. My circle of relatives ate grass.”

He claims IS compelled him to force injured other people to hospitals, which he did for a yr – transporting other people from Raqqa and Al Bab – however was once conquer with melancholy and psychological sickness and stopped operating altogether.

Now he’s extraordinarily skinny after being successfully held captive via the extremists within the ultimate final IS pocket close to Hajin.

“I wasn’t captured,” he insists.

“We passed ourselves over to the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

Alexander Bekmirzaev told Alex Crawford he wanted to go "home"
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Alexander Bekmirzaev instructed Alex Crawford he sought after to head ‘house’

He was once arrested once he approached the armed SDF checkpoints a bit over a month in the past.

Now he’s determined to “come again house”.

He mentioned: “I am 45-year-old individual – I do not understand how lengthy I have were given left in my lifestyles. I wish to come again house. I wish to reside a calm lifestyles. I wish to cross to the mosque, pray, I wish to cross to paintings. I wish to care for my circle of relatives. That is all.”

However with the area so risky and the approaching withdrawal of US troops, he fears there may well be recent battles between the Syrian regime, the Kurdish YPG and the Turkish army.

He’s fearful that he and different foreigners accused of being IS combatants may well be traded for prisoners.

“In the event that they hand us over, Bashar al Assad (the Syrian President), he’ll kill us,” he mentioned.

“He’s going to.”



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