Aggregator • Mideast Youth • ID=80072
We were sitting in a bazaar in Aleppo; our friend in the Free Syrian Army was holding a lighter with a flash light on. He said, 'If we throw this lighter into the air, the snipers will blow it up before reaching earth,' he added, 'It's not an accident. We've done it many times. Shall we try it again?!' He asked.*
As the largest city in Syria, Aleppo is decisive in the current political turmoil in the country. It's been a month since attacks and retaliations have been rocking the city hard. The stories of this city are very much similar to the Hollywood versions of WWI and WWII stories, if not more interesting.
We were counting, about 12 rockets were hitting the city each minute. The rockets were cluster rockets; each one contains several rockets at a time. If not an alley, they remove an apartment wholly once they are blown up! The snipers do not let birds to fly if they want. Children are dying in hunger, others were in the embrace of their dying moms. The others are in the hospitals, not just inside but waiting in line outside as far as you can see. Some alleys are targeted, as they are in the hands of the free Syrian Army. No wonder if you woke up one morning just to see an alley is removed on earth totally, this happens in Syria. When Meg planes chase you, you are done, same with Apache copters; the snipers have a similar but faster effect on people. On the other side of the story is a young man who told me, 'I told my mom, I'll go either martyred or succeeded!'
Aleppo is quite like the images of the end of WWII, the only difference is the earlier war was ended; the latter is far from ending.
Shah, Caesar and Levant
Many jokes are told in the journey to Syria, one of them was about Iranians. Sometimes the war is not only with the guns, but words. Knowing their front apartment was mobbed by the regime's men, the free Syrian army men were swearing at them through the opened window. There was a strange thing, the others could not swear in a proper Arabic. They just repeat what you say. Feeling something, the Free soldiers were swearing at Khomeini, the leader of Iranian revolution of 1979, now the others understood and answered with some bullets fired! The aid of Iran to the Syrian regime in every form is some sort of axiom to the Free Syrian army. They have tens of stories to tell about it. Among them is an agreement between Iran, Iraq and Russia which permits the Russians to send aid to the regime via Iran, Iraq sky.
Among them were the snipers, which the militants said to be Iranian, or at least Iranian trained. We were sitting in a bazaar in Aleppo; our friend in the Free Syrian Army was holding a lighter with a flash light on. He said, 'If we throw this lighter into the air, the snipers will blow it up before reaching earth,' he added, 'It's not an accident. We've done it many times. Shall we try it again?!' He asked.
Sex and Sacred
'Come and rip us apart, no problem; but don't touch our families!' That's what one of the revolutionaries told us! He narrated a story about tens of young girls forced to remove their clothes and walk in bazaar in a group! 'You want freedom?! That's freedom!' The girls were told by regime soldiers. Rape and attacking mosques are becoming two norms of this civil war in Syria, which bothered the militants the most. They say sometimes the regime men attack a village, killing all the men, raping all the women. 'Let the men be murdered, but don't touch the girls,' that's what a revolutionary told us!
PKK and Kurdish State
'We were exposed to an ambush at night; when we were asked about our identity, we said we are comrades of Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). Then the regime men said, Oh, Okay Okay pass!'
Kurdish areas, including some neighborhoods of Aleppo are in the hands of PKK. The neighborhoods are not touched with a bullet. There is a pact between Syrian regime and PKK, the regime has given the right of ruling to PKK's PYD ‘until the regime returns its full power'. PKK in return does not fight the regime or its enemies; it just rules some areas through several new institutions, including new Kurdish schools and education.
When they are asked how they trust a regime which denied the right of citizenship for 300 thousand Kurds in its normal condition, they do not have a clear answer. Although they have an answer, they may be not very open to share it now. The fact is they are not sure about the revolutionaries too. For them as Kurds, it might be going from bad to worse, who knows?! No one is ready to discuss Kurdish issue at the time. They are only ready to discuss the regime as a whole! Turkey, fearing from PKK's exploitation of the situation, has tried to influence the situation through Barzani and Talabani in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. They have formed a new council with 16 Kurdish parties to counter balance PKK's influence in the region. But the de facto ruler, with a huge public support is PKK, not the others, even in the Kurdish neighborhoods of Aleppo.
*All the stories are taken from a journalist who spent some time in Syria recently.... more