On 21 February 2023, a video of members of the Syrian National Army (SNA) attempting to storA’zaz Courthouse went viral on social media. Reportedly, the gunmen who appeared in the video are members of the 3rd Corps, under Major Majd Alwan, who is a commander in the Levant Front/al-Jabha al-Shamiya faction active in the areas jointly controlled by the Turkish Army and allied Syrian rebel groups.
Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) tracked the video and investigated it through its field researchers, in order to understand more about this disturbing incident, which came at a critical time, just days after the Syria-Turkey devastating quake.
A local source testified to STJ’s field researcher:
“On Tuesday, 21 February 2023, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Majd Alwan, a commander of the Levant Front/al-Jabha al-Shamiya attacked A’zaz Courthouse. Alwan’s attack came in response to a decision made by the court granting his ex-wife custody of their girl child while preventing him from seeing her, the child, for five consecutive months.”
According to witnesses, after the judge pronounced judgment, Alwan broke into the court and tried to kidnap the girl. However, police officers stopped Alwan and got him out of court. Thereafter, Alwan called his soldiers for assistance to storm the courthouse and take the girl at gunpoint; their attempt failed, nevertheless.
STJ’s field researcher reported:
“On the same day, at around 5:00 p.m., A’zaz’s District Attorney along with A’zaz’s head of the military police, and the health director, Dr. Hassan, interceded with the judge in order to amend the court-ordered custody plan, and thus resolve the dispute between Alwan and his ex-wife.”
STJ followed developments in this regard and managed to obtain an exclusive video showing Alwan confirming the resolution of the custody dispute with his ex-wife, under an agreement that satisfies both sides.
For the record, over the past few years, STJ has documented dozens of violations and acts of hostilities by SNA members in rebel-held areas, which continue to be in security chaos.