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Rare interview with Belgian fighter in Syria: ‘I work as an independent’

Jenan Moussa, a journalist of the Arab television station Al, is managed through the internet to get in touch with a Belgian and two Dutch Syriëstrijders in Idlib. ‘Now I work as an independent together with different groups, ” says the Belgian.

The three interviewed fighters call themselves Abu Abdul Rahman al-Belgiqi, Abu Mohammed al-Holandi and Abu al-Zubair al-Holandi. All three are, according to the journalist, more than five years ago, arrived in Syria, and they consider themselves as protectors of the Syrian people.

‘We are terrorists, if you mean that we are people who help the oppressors to stop their oppression of the Syrian people, ” says the Belgian. He was formerly a member of the al-Nusrafront and of Islamic State, but works now as an independent.

“The independents here close are not groups, they join the military in to many groups. We say that We have ten, fifteen, twenty or thirty brethren, and that we are us military want to hook up at every job. Thus, each time the regime an attack does, we stand ready to help, whether in Idlib, Latakia, Hama, or Aleppo.”

The Syriëstrijders explain how the city is preparing for an attack from the regime, and how they offer their services to the existing groups.

Idlib

The three are aware that all eyes are focused on Idlib, where many of the combatants to their home have found after being expelled from other areas back under the control of the regime.

They know that the regime’s attacks will carry out on the town, and take precautions. “First of all, we will prepare us mentally and physically for such an attack. By often Allah for forgiveness, a lot of the worship to do, and us to fully focus on our faith, ” says one of the Dutch. “And physically, we prepare our course for by good defenses to put down, so that we are all barbaric attacks of this regime and shiite militias can stop it.’

No clarity about identity

Terreurexpert Pieter Van Ostaeyen, a database manages with the names of Syriëstrijders, the Belgian did not identify. “We know total not who that is,” he says. Van Ostaeyen found in its database, however, one possible candidate, but that would be in 2016 his death. ‘They are also in the Netherlands the search. I already have a few messages exchanged with a Dutch analyst, and also, since there are two possibilities, but also who have died.’

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