He didn’t want to fight, but he had to: confession of the HTS and ISIS gunman captured in Syria They are armed, sure of their permissiveness and impunity and consider themselves very dangerous. ISIS* terrorists executed bloody sentences of the Sharia court without hesitation. Savage reprisals were frequently dealt out in place. This is evidenced by large amount of footage produced and released by punishers. All things change when militants are on the other side of the barricade. Yesterday’s gunmen try by all means to refuse to have anything to do with terrorist groups and do not admit involvement to criminal activities even under penalty of death. Only few find within themselves capabilities to come at the truth and to repent… Hamed Ali Hasep was captured bu general Suheil’s fighters a few weeks earlier in the Deir ez-Zor province. In a frank conversation he told about his stay among terrorists and the reasons which had prompted him to take up arms. For four years he managed to fight for HTS as well as and under the black banners of the Islamic State. These are two competing groups, between which fierce battles continue not only for territorial influence, but also for ideological reasons. Reconciliation between two militant clans is impossible in principle. Now Hamed Ali is 46 years old. He was born and raised near the town of Khsham southeast of the city of Deir ez-Zor, where he graduated only four years of high school. He claims that he could not even imagine what he would have to earn in the future. At first he was engaged in agriculture, like his father. And in 2013 he joined the Ahuaz battalion, belonging to the terrorist organization Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. According to Hamed, this step was prompted by the plight of his family — farming did not bring big profits. However, service in the ranks in HTS disappointed him very soon, since it did not lead to the desired enrichment. In addition, the field commanders of Nusra did not consider the rank and file personnel to be used as cannon fodder. Therefore, in 2015, when ISIS terrorists came to the village, Khasep and most other fighters from the Ahuaz battalion did not resist, but swore allegiance to the leaders of the Islamic State. All dissenters put on an orange robe with all the consequences. According to Hamed Ali, he did not immediately go to the front, he carried out small assignments, mainly for the delivery of crude oil in tank trucks to the Syrian-Turkish border, where he sold it to the Turks. The cost of a 200-liter barrel was much lower than the market price and was about 22–25 dollars. The money was used to purchase weapons, ammunition and money for the personnel. The salary of an ordinary militant at the same time was 100–150 dollars, a little more than in HTS. A few months later he and some other militants from the Ahaus battalion were offered to go to a training camp under the provisional name Kseiba, located 20 kilometers from the settlement of Abu-Kemal in Iraq. ISIS commanders told potential candidates that it was very warm there. All this, in part, according to Hasep, turned out to be true. In the Kseib living conditions were more acceptable than in the cold underground tunnels of Deir-ez-Zor, where he spent several months. The training camp is divided into two sectors, where lived the instructors fighters. Among the instructors were Pakistanis, Americans, Sudanese, Kazakhs, as well as representatives of European countries. Which ones, I do not know. I saw about 8 citizens of Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 30 people in total, says the prisoner. The head of the camp was from Saudi Arabia, the second person on the base was a representative of the United States with the call sign Abu Humar, who often conducted some classes. In addition, militants daily studied fire, tactical and medical training, mine and subversive activities, organization of sabotage, raids, ambushes. All these skills Hasep Ali will realize in the future, when he returns to his native Deir-ez-Zor. In the meantime, he, together with other trainees, carefully scrutinized the algorithm of combat operations in various conditions, from open spaces in the desert to mountainous terrain, fighting in the forest or urban conditions. After Hasep finished his studying, he left Iraq and returned to Syria, where he led a sabotage and reconnaissance group of seven fighters. The tasks of the bandit formation included reconnaissance, the organization of raids, the seizure of the Syrian military, torture and the execution of prisoners. Khasep denies murder and mockery of unarmed civilians, claiming that his squad confronted only the enemies of the Islamic State — government troops in the vicinity of Homs. In September, he participated in military operations near the airfield south of Deir-ez-Zor. After the Syrian Armed Forces managed to expand the buffer zone around the airfield, about a thousand of Islamic state militants were transferred from Deir ez-Zor province to Kurdish-controlled territory in the province of Hassek. Some of the militants were to be trained at US military bases, others were planned to join Syrian Democratic Forces. Khasep claims that he personally saw that the US Air Force helicopters took part in the evacuation. If it were not for the help of foreign states, the Islamic State would have gone long ago, Hamed Ali admits. Armament, ammunition came mainly from the US and Israel. But even despite external support, many militants are tired and morally exhausted. Propaganda is spread in the detachments about the successes of ISIS, religious preachers are sometimes invited to raise the morale. But this produces a weak effect. Even those who agreed to be trained at US bases, stop training and try to escape. Ali Hamed is tired, too. The soldiers from Suheil's unit captured ISIS field commander a few weeks ago. At least he will save his life. But he won’t be able to avoid the court, and punishment will inevitably follow.