Sunnis in N. Syria protest Al Qaida’s Taliban-like repression

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Sunni Muslims have launched protests against an Al Qaida militia that controls much of northern Syria.

Opposition sources have released videos of Sunni protests against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in September. The protests focused on ISIL attacks on rival Sunni militias as well as churches near the border with Turkey.

“It [ISIL] is outside the Syrian revolution and does not at all represent the Syrian people’s aspirations,” the opposition Syrian National Coalition said.

On Sept. 28, the opposition released an online video that showed an anti-ISIL protest in the northeastern city of Raqqa, population 250,000. Some of the demonstrators carried a cross that had been torn down from a church by ISIL fighters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIL has conducted a crackdown on churches and other Christian buildings throughout northern Syria. Syrian Observatory said ISIL was also vandalizing churches in Raqqa.

“ISIL is doing Assad’s regime a great service,” Syrian Observatory said. In the northern village of Tweihineh, ISIL was said to have imposed
Taliban-like restrictions on women. The Al Qaida militia banned girls in non-Muslim dress from attending school.

“It has forbidden girls in primary education and above from attending school unless they wear fully Islamic clothing including a gown, gloves and a veil,” Syrian Observatory said.

 

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