Amid deteriorating security conditions in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province and the heavy losses that ISIS has recently suffered there, leading members of the radical group started to evacuate their positions and desert the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS), activists reported on Monday.
Muhammad al-Rafdan, ISIS security chief in Deir ez-Zor, and Rafid Abdulkareem, the group’s military official in the same province, have reportedly escaped Deir ez-Zor.
“Both ISIS officials have deserted the group’s ranks. The ISIS-linked Hisba police found out that the two leading members of the group had left the province with their families earlier on Sunday,” local media activist Muhammad al-Haman told ARA News, citing ISIS members.
“It was not immediately clear where al-Rafdan and Abdulkareem have headed to,” the source said.
The two dissidents were members of the local Arab tribe of Al Agedat in Deir ez-Zor. They had reportedly joined ISIS ranks in early 2015, and promoted to leading positions in the group’s ranks for their influential status over the people of Deir ez-Zor province, according to local sources.