The self-proclaimed Islamic State is coming under attack from within by a shadowy guerrilla group determined to avenge the treatment of the Syrian people, according to a Syrian Human Rights group.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says there has been an increase in the number of attacks on ISIS targets by gunmen in the Deir al-Zor province in recent weeks. This province, along with the de facto capital Raqqa, forms the centre of ISIS power.
The Daily Mail reports that the group, known as ‘White Shroud’, is formed from the remnants of an anti-Assad group that was crushed by ISIS and claims to have killed more than 100 ISIS fighters. Its name refers to a death shroud it says awaits the ISIS fighters who have wrought havoc on the Syrian people.
The group’s leader, who uses the assumed name Abu Aboud, says that membership is currently around 300 people, adding: “Eighty per cent of the members of White Shroud did not take part in combat before (ISIS) came. We trained them and they joined White Shroud because of the great oppression they felt after Islamic State took control.”
Mr Aboud added that secrecy was paramount to White Shroud’s operations, and that the group works in four-man ‘cells’ who operate independently of one another for safety reasons.
So far, the group has been operating in the area around the town of Al Bukamal, near the Iraqi border, picking off ISIS fighters when it has the opportunity.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that White Shroud is one of several groups who have been taking on ISIS within territory occupied by the terrorist organisation. All groups are small and have similar threatening names, such as ‘The Brigade of the Angel of Death’ and the ‘Phantom Brigade’.
One small guerrilla group killed at least 10 ISIS militants in a night-time attack on a checkpoint in Al Mayadin, Deir al-Zor province last week, the Observatory added.
Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory, said that there had been an increase against ISIS within the territory they hold.
A spokesman for the White Shroud group said that, despite their modest resources, they are achieving their aims:
“The aim of this group – spreading fear among Islamic State members – has been realised. Today, you never meet them walking alone. They mostly move in groups, afraid of abduction.”