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Islamic State terrorizes business owners in northeast Syria

Islamic State cells have been active in the areas controlled by the Kurdish forces in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, forcing business owners to pay taxes under the pretext of zakat.
A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walks past shops with their fronts painted with the Arabic phrases "beware a sniper" and "caliphate state," after the Kurdish-led and US-backed SDF retook the city from Islamic State fighters, Hajin, Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, Jan. 27, 2019.

ALEPPO, Syria — The areas controlled by the Kurdish forces in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor province in northeastern Syria have recently witnessed growing activities by Islamic State (IS) cells, which are terrorizing business owners and forcing them to pay "zakat" (obligatory charitable payment).

On Oct. 3, IS militants blew up a money exchange and money transfer shop called Al-Iman Office in the town of al-Azbah, in the northern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, after its owner refused to pay zakat. No casualties were reported, but the shop was severely damaged.

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