Middle East Eye quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on the expansion of ISIS in Syrian and the Syrian residents now under ISIS control:
“Anyone suspected of working with the regime will be killed,” according to Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
“Anyone who acquiesced to regime rule but did not actively participate in the war effort will be given a chance to repent and pledge allegiance to [IS leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi.”
While little is known about the identity of prisoners at Tadmor, the Atlantic Council’s Itani says it is a key strategic site for IS, and could be far more important than the unique ruins nearby.
“IS has no interest in ruins, apart from the inflammatory effect that capturing them seems to have on international public opinion,” he told MEE.
“They seem to enjoy taunting and provoking the world, and this seems to work well with ruins.”
From a military perspective, Tadmor prison is a more important goal. Itani suspects there are “at least some” militants detained there, who would be potential new recruits if freed by IS.
“The intended capture of an important regime asset fits within a larger motive to capture and control Tadmor,” said Itani.