Syria: Ex-Douma captive recounts alleged forced participation in militants' 2015 'pretend' chemical attack

A Syrian civilian who was freed from Jaish al-Islam captivity in Douma on Monday, recounted how the militant group had allegedly forced him to participate in a «pretend» chemical weapons attack scene that they then filmed, back in 2015. «We went [to Douma] and they [Jaish al-Islam] gathered us and forced us to take our shirts off, and said 'the army is about to use chemical weapons,'» Mohammed... Еще Khudr Mousa stated from Salamiyah on Wednesday. «'You should pretend chemical weapons were used against you and that you cannot breathe. We will pour water on you to revive you,'» he recalled his captors saying. Khudr Mousa went on to describe how a doctor held captive by the militant group was allegedly «forced to fill syringes, pretending that he was injecting us to revive us.» «They [Jaish al-Islam] poured water on us, and forced us to pretend we were unconscious according to their wishes. They brought a camera and filmed us,» he alleged. In an off-camera comment, he told Ruptly that he was not able to say whether the video he was part of was published. Ruptly is not able to verify the story. Mousa was kidnapped from Adra — a town near Damascus — in December 2013. He was released on Monday as part of an agreement between the Syrian government and militant forces. His family and friends gave him a hero's welcome in Salamiyah on Wednesday Another prisoner of Jaish al-Islam recalled the horrors of being held captive along with her two children. Samar Farha and her children Miray and Omar Saido say they had been held captive by the militants since December 2013 in al-Tawba/Repentance prison, Jaish al-Islam’s jail in Douma. They have since been reunited with their family in Salamiyah, having been released on the same day as Mohammed Khudr Mousa. The family’s ordeal started when they were still living in Adra. After militants allegedly murdered the father of Samar’s children, the remainder of the family was locked up in Douma. “We suffered from many things, we suffered starving, cold, everything else, we were used as human shields,” alleged Samara’s daughter Miray. Their period in jail was also ended as part of a recent deal between Damascus and militant forces.

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