Syrians tell of torture, rape, detention at hands of IRGC and Hizbullah

Though years have elapsed since they were freed from prisons in Syrians run by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Hizbullah, former detainees still live with the psychological and physical scars.

Speaking to Al-Mashareq from Europe, where he moved to start a new life in 2019, a 31-year-old Syrian army defector who gave his name as simply “Mohammed” described the months he spent in a Syrian prison.

A native of the Idlib town of Maaret al-Numan, Mohammed was active in the Syrian uprising, and was imprisoned, first by the IRGC and then by Hizbullah, for over nine months between August 2017 and May 2018.

At the time of his detention, he had been in charge of al-Mahrouqat hill in Aleppo province, where he was taking part in a battle to secure a supply route for the starving people of Aleppo, he said.

“On the night of August 18, 2017, I received a request for support from elements of my unit at a location 4km away from the hill,” he said. “En route to them, I met three elements who I thought belonged to our unit.”

They shot at him, in what appears to have been an attempt at intimidation, blindfolded him, and brought him to their headquarters in al-Wadihi. Syrians

“I was detained in a room for some time, and then, on an officer’s order, I was transferred in a pickup truck that travelled for about two hours,” he said.

“Then we arrived in Safira, a major IRGC headquarters [in Aleppo].”

Blindfolded and interrogated

Speaking through a Syrian translator, an official at the Safira IRGC headquarters interrogated Mohammed about military matters and opposition fronts, he said.

The translator then informed Mohammed the IRGC had decided to hand him over to Syria’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

“I was blindfolded and transferred to al-Nairab military airport after they switched vehicles three times,” Mohammed said.

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