A former ISIS terrorist who fought for a Turkish-backed group was behind the recent al-Bab bombing which claimed the lives of many civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on November 17, citing sources affiliated with the situation.
The sources told the UK-based monitoring group that the terrorist was originally from the town of Jablat Al-Hamrah, which is located near al-Bab in the Turkish-occupied part of northern Aleppo.
“He is a former ISIS operative, he fought with the group in the battles of Manbij and al-Bab,” one of the sources said, “After the Turks managed to capture al-Bab, he joined the [Turkish-backed] Hamza Division of the Syria National Army (SNA). Then, he also left the division.”
Syrian activists confirmed the information revealed by the SOHR and identified the terrorist as 30-year old Ali al-Yousef. Some of the activists even claimed that al-Yousef was very close to the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Military Police and even the Turkish intelligence.
The Al-Bab explosion claimed the lives of at least 19 people and injured dozens others. The vast majority of the casualties were civilians.
Al-Yousef was reportedly apprehended by the Free Syrian Military Police early on November 17.
Thousands of angry locals gathered near the police headquarters in al-Bab demanding the execution of the terrorist following reports of preparations to hand him over to Turkey.
Al-Bab was a strategically important town for Turkey because it did not want the two SDF regions to link up. On 23 February 2017, al-Bab was captured by Turkish-backed rebels, becoming a part of the Turkish buffer zone.
In February 2017 in al-Bab a Turkish trained police force of 2000 men was deployed. Since the Turkish armed forces invaded northern Syria in October 2019, the violence in al-Bab, including a number of car bombs, increased.