Foreign-backed militants affiliated with the so-called Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri terrorist group have reportedly released an American self-described journalist, accused of having ties to terror networks in northwestern Syria, more than six months after his arrest in the country’s restive province of Idlib.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), citing local sources, said Bilal Abdul Kareem, born Darrell Lamont Phelps, was set free on Wednesday after receiving “guarantees” from local leaders who petitioned the HTS to drop charges against him.
The Britain-based monitor added that HTS militants detained Abdul Kareem on August 13 last year in the town of Atma, which lies north of the provincial capital city of Idlib.
The HTS military court had sentenced Abdul Kareem to one year and a half in detention.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
Syrian government troops and their allies have managed to retake roughly 80 percent of the war-ravaged Arab country’s territory from the Takfiri terrorists.
The Syrian army is fighting to drive out remaining militants, but the presence of US and European forces and Turkish troops has slowed down its advances.