Assad Regime’s Sports Federation Grants Leadership Position to Former ISIS Leader

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The General Sports Federation in Syria, under the Assad regime, recently appointed Omar Al-Amouri, a former ISIS leader, to the position of vice president of Al-Karamah Sports Club. Al-Amouri, known by aliases Abu Bakr al-Homsi and Abu Bakr Qaryatain, has a complex and troubling history.

According to reports from the Euphrates Post (EP), he was a prominent figure within ISIS, holding various leadership positions including involvement in the oil trade, which served as a critical source of revenue for the terrorist organization. Notably, he was identified as a key mediator between ISIS and the Assad regime, facilitating deals related to oil and gas.

According to a 2019 article by EP he was handed over to the Assad regime by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group backed by the US and affiliated with the PKK, as part of a deal between the regime and the SDF. This raises questions about the complexities of alliances in the region and the motivations behind such arrangements.

Al-Amouri stands accused of involvement in selling Yazidi women into slavery. Despite these allegations, he was released by the Assad regime, highlighting a concerning lack of accountability for individuals involved in grave human rights abuses.

The recent appointment of a former ISIS leader within the Assad regime’s sports federation demonstrates the ongoing moral ambiguity and political expediency characteristic of the regime which exhibits a willingness to overlook past atrocities in pursuit of strategic objectives. Such an appointment also highlights the challenges of achieving justice and reconciliation in a deeply fractured society.

Critics argue that such appointments not only undermine efforts to combat terrorism but also betray the principles of justice and accountability. The hypocrisy of claims to “fight terrorism” while simultaneously embracing individuals with ties to terrorist organizations and war crimes shows the Assad regime’s continued disregard for international rule of law and norms.


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