In the News: Raqqa Governor Reported Captured by Syrian Rebels
Syrian rebels have reportedly captured the Governor of Raqqa, Hassan Jalili, and the local head of the Baath party, Suleiman Suleiman. I have translated portions of the amateur video including statements by the two men as well as rebel fighters.
0:30–1:20 Governor Hassan Jalili of Raqqa
“The local head of the Baath Party and I were here in the Governor’s Mansion and there was a confrontation between outside elements and security elements within the mansion ... There was damage inside the building, and in order to avoid more bloodshed, these men came along with the National Reconciliation Committee and tried to supply a solution to the issue.”
1:30–3:00 Commander of the Islamic Unity and Liberation Front
“After the Free Army, or rather the Islamic Front, entered Raqqa Province, the Islamic Unity and Liberation Front laid siege to the Governor’s Mansion in cooperation with and aid of our brothers in the Shura Council Front. After exchanging fire and maintaining the siege for several hours, some of the brothers decided to enter and hold the necessary negotiations so spare our mujahideen brothers. The result of the talks was to remove the wounded from the location and to remove forces, soldiers, and prisoners located in the Governor’s Mansion.
By cooperating with our brothers in the Shura Council, the operation was carried out with the least losses possible... here we are today on March 3rd, 2013 in the Governor’s Mansion in Raqqa, and hopefully headed to Damascus, God willing.”
3:10–3:55 Head of the local Baath Party Suleiman Suleiman
“We came to the Governor’s Mansion and a number of guards were present within the building to protect it. Then gunfire began between the two sides, between those outside and those inside. We spoke to those outside the building and said, “We want to avoid more bloodshed, and we want reconciliation for the governor. They worked with us and that’s how the issue was solved.”