A video surfaced on the web Sunday that shows nearly a dozen singing masked men in Lebanon who are reportedly affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — calling for the release of individuals currently detained in the country's Roumieh prison.
The masked men are sitting on the ground, holding guns, and surrounded by rocket propelled grenades. They are holding black and white flags with the name ISIS, a Sunni Muslim militant group.
A man in the center sings while the others chant in the background of the video, which is shot in an unidentified area in the mountains. The video appears to be dedicated to “our brothers and prisoners in Roumieh, Lebanon" and it's signed by the "Lions" of ISIS.
Video footage posted on June 8 of an ISIS-affiliated group singing for the release of prisoners in Lebanon. Video via YouTube.
Lebanese website The Daily Star translated part of the lyrics as: “Oh, if anyone can tell the news to Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Baghdad, I am saddened by the circumstances of prisoners in Roumieh prison, oh brothers."
The man allegedly goes on to sing, “I am sick of watching militants and policemen ahead of me while the doors between us are locked."
During the song they compare Roumieh — the country's largest prison — to Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison where American soldiers brutally tortured prisoners in 2003. The lyrics also call for bringing down the prison, saying “indefinite brothers inmates [in the facility] want to crack the gates.”
Several Islamist detainees are currently held in the Roumieh.
Most of them are linked to the 2007 battles between the militant group Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese Army that took place in a refugee camp in North Lebanon.
Roumieh was also the site of prisoner riots in 2010 that erupted due to visitation restrictions that had been put in place by jail officials.
ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul overnight on Monday, while seizing an aircraft and releasing hundreds of prisoners. The group also took control of government offices, military bases, and police stations.
In recent months, the militant group has overtaken the western Iraqi city of Fallujah and pushed an offensive in Syria that has reportedly left hundreds dead.
ISIS first showed up in Syria in 2013, after holding a presence in Iraq for more than a decade. Al Qaeda severed connection with the group in February of this year.
Additional reporting by John Beck.
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