The Washington Post reports from Nizip in Turkey: On a drizzly afternoon this month, they gathered in the tree-lined cemetery here to bid farewell to a charismatic rebel and outspoken enemy of the Islamic State.
The mourners wept as they hoisted his coffin, draped in the three-star flag of Syria’s opposition. They proudly recalled his valor in battles against government forces and his defiance of the religious extremists who have tried to overtake their rebellion.
But the way that Zaher al-Shurqat’s life ended filled those at his funeral with dread.
An apparent Islamic State militant followed the 36-year-old into an alley in the Turkish city of Gaziantep and fired a round into his head. He was the fourth prominent Syrian critic of the Islamic State to be assassinated in the past six months in southern Turkey, far beyond the militants’ stronghold in Syria.
“We’re not safe here in Turkey. ISIS is watching us,” said a 24-year-old former rebel who attended the funeral in Nizip, a town about 30 miles east of Gaziantep. As do many fellow Syrians who have taken refuge in the area, the man spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of the militant group, also known as ISIS and ISIL. [Continue reading…]