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Islamic militia expels criminal gangs from Aleppo

The al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams has won the praise of Aleppans after expelling criminal gangs that have looted and ravaged the city.
A picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and a Syrian flag are seen from a hole in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighbourhood November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Molhem Barakat (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX15431
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ALEPPO, Syria — Khaled Saraj, better known as Khaled Hayani, is a notorious rebel warlord operating in and around Aleppo. He’s a native of the town of Hayan — hence, his nickname — just a few kilometers on the Gaziantep highway north of Aleppo. He was largely unknown from his impoverished background right up until the armed conflict erupted in Aleppo province. Soon after, he formed his own militia, the Martyrs of Badr, and through various unsavory activities quickly amassed a small fortune, all in the name of the revolution and fighting against the Syrian regime.

His infamy stems from his well-documented escapades, including organized looting, kidnapping, extortion, highway robbery and indiscriminate shelling of civilians adjacent to areas his faction controls with his improvised and lethal Jehanem (Hell) canon. Along with several other warlords now infamous throughout Aleppo for their reign of crime and terror, he stands out as particularly noxious for his undisguised contempt for the city of Aleppo and its residents.

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