Slain Syrian opposition doctor found to be ISIS member held by SDF

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – In a bizarre turn of events, a German court has found that Dr. Ibrahim Nahel Othman, a famed physician working for the Syrian opposition who was reported killed in 2011, is alive and being held for his connections to ISIS in a prison in northeast Syria.

The fact was exposed during the court case of Nadine K, a German woman who had travelled to Syria in order to join ISIS. She is being tried by a high court in Koblenz over her part in the kidnapping and rape of Yazidi women by her husband, one Ibrahim O. The German state news agency SWR says that security and legal experts have confirmed that he is the ‘slain’ opposition doctor.

Dr. Ibrahim Nahel Othman, in his mid-twenties in 2011, gained recognition for his impassioned work as a physician for the Syrian opposition. He was a co-founder of the Physicians Coordination Committee in Damascus, an opposition-linked body. He was informally known as the ‘Doctor of the Revolution’.

On Dec. 10, 2011, the Syrian Local Coordination Committees announced Othman had been killed by Syrian intelligence as he tried to escape to Turkey. A video reporting to show his body circulated on social media.

According to new information, Othman was not only very alive, but was living in Europe in the years following his ‘death’. He first arrived France, then moving to the Germany state of North Rhein Westphalia. In July 2015, he informed the local administration that he would be moving to Sweden. In reality, Othman and Nadine K travelled to ISIS-held Mosul.

He was reportedly arrested in late March 2019 by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and was being held in a prison near Hasakah until recently.

To what extent Othman harboured sympathies for ISIS before travelling to Mosul is unknown. His family says they are ‘far removed’ from that ideology. However, Mosul had been in the hands of the extremist group well over a year by the time the pair arrived in the city.

Similarly, it is unknown to what extent European security services were aware that Othman was alive and living on the continent, and that he had then traveled to the caliphate.

Reporting by Sasha Hoffman