Disappearances fuel backlash in jihadist-ruled Syrian city

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Concern over the fate of hundreds who have gone missing in a Syrian city run by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has fueled a backlash against the jihadist group.

Mothers of the detainees gather every day outside ISIL bases in the city of Raqqa, where the extremist group is in full control and governs through a harsh interpretation of Islamic sharia law, according to residents and activists.

“They cry, begging for information and for their sons’ release,” said Amer Matar, whose citizen journalist brother Mohammad Nour has been detained by ISIL for nine months.

“My mother suffers every day, because she is not given any information about her youngest child,” said Matar, a filmmaker from Raqqa who became a refugee in Germany because of his own activism against President Bashar al-Assad.

The kidnappings and other abuses led activists to mobilize a new campaign against ISIL last week that has gathered support on social media networks and seen protests held across opposition-run areas…

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