A general view of the town of Arsal (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The Syrian adolescent had filed a complaint in ISIS' religious court, and Ezzedine was about to be tried.The presence of a rudimentary court system run by ISIS in Arsal's outskirts was corroborated by half a dozen quarry workers who claim to have seen it, as well as two witnesses who were summoned to hearings, including Ezzedine.While ISIS in Qalamoun have maintained a low-profile since August, the operations of the court are a sign that the militant group is attempting to consolidate power by giving Arsalis the one thing they need most – order. Hujeiri was summoned to the court after an Arsal resident, another quarry worker, alleged he was collaborating with the Army. On Dec. 2, two of Hujeiri's bulldozers were stolen by gangs that he believes were not affiliated with ISIS. The name Kayed Ghadadah, a quarry worker who was found guilty of collaborating with Hezbollah on Sept. 3 and promptly executed, was mentioned to The Daily Star by nearly every Arsali worker interviewed.An Army source who acknowledged ISIS was holding court in Wadi Hmayyed said troops did not maintain a fixed position within the town because it would not be "militarily useful".
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