As fighting intensified on Tuesday after the previous day’s heavy rains, civilians streamed out of western neighborhoods recaptured by the government, cold and hungry but relieved to be free of the militants’ grip.
“We haven’t seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric,” Assad said in an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix. “We have hopes that this administration in the United States is going to implement what we have heard.”
Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, 54, the self-styled commander of the raiders, said he was the leader of the Hanafi Muslims, a small sect that has a blood feud with the Black Muslims, and that his men were responsible for all three assaults.
Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawasi said at least three bodies of civilians and more than 60 wounded people had been brought to nearby hospitals, adding that the toll was likely to rise as ambulances were still at the scene.
But by noon, troops on the ground said the complex has not yet been secured and that they are facing a wave of intense ISIS counterattacks.
But federal prosecutors sternly opposed bail and painted a grim picture of the alleged extremist.
Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Raheed Yar Allah says troops hoisted an Iraqi flag on the buildings in the Dawasa neighborhood on Tuesday, hailing the federal police as “heroes.”
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun “is an al Qaeda terrorist whose mission was to kill Americans,” prosecutor Matthew Jacobs told jurors in opening statements, holding up a picture of Harun.
Jose Ismael Torres and Kayla Rae Norton were convicted earlier this month under a street gang terrorism law for the 2015 harassment in Douglassville, outside Atlanta, and cried in court on Monday.
The Turkey-backed rebels had on Thursday driven Islamic State from al-Bab and two smaller towns nearby after weeks of streetfighting, depriving the hardline militants of their last big possession in northwest Syria.