Sunday, May 1, 2011

We have lost the fear, the regime will fall

When residents of Tall al Kalah were warned that Syrian tanks were approaching the town, located seven kilometers from the border with Lebanon, women improvised a flight of uncertain duration. "For the past days, the city had muhabarat [operatives] and Shabih [name given to a feared government militia], but we were told that the tanks were surrounding the Kalah Tall knew we had to make children safe," says M., a woman aged about 40 dressed in black surrounded by four kids and toddlers.

"The snipers shoot everything that moves when there are protests. Had a power outage and the phone and no water supply. In the city are only leaving the men to defend our homes." The enemies who feared M., sitting in the backyard of a home peeling the Lebanese town of Al Jissr al Gharbi, located in the northern region of Wadi Khaled, about four miles from Syria, are the same to be defended .

The Syrian army, in particular members of the Fourth Division, commanded by the dreaded younger brother of President Bashar Assad, Maher. The entry of tanks and the Fourth Division in the town has taken away some 3,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, only 40 men have entered, according to legend, now converted into rare witnesses to the repression of demonstrations peaceful.

The fear, however, remains: Refugees shun the cameras and refuse to offer any information that they can identify. "Our houses are there," he insisted, pointing to the other side of the border. The story of the twelve families coincide Syrian consulted on the basics and come to support the accusations by the United Nations that Damascus is besieging entire cities, not just the main focus of protest, as feared.

A good example is the Kalah Tall. "The protests began five weeks ago. At first there were over 150 people, who demanded the release of political prisoners and an end to discrimination against the Sunnis [the majority in a country ruled by the minority Shiite Alawid]," explains S ., another refugee.

"Intelligence has not acted to stop them, but the demands were not met. Released just a few. So the protests grew until eventually there were about 2,000 protesters." "In the third week, the Baath headquarters in the city was destroyed," added another woman, it's about 50, clutching a package of snuff and a Misbah (traditional Muslim rosary).

Share a house in Al Gharbi Jiss the other five families, thanks to the generosity of a Lebanese neighbors. "That intensified repression. Shabih appeared and the Fourth Division of the Army and started shooting. Every time there was protests, appeared snipers on rooftops. But three days ago, everything got worse." They say that's when the soldiers arrested a cleric, Osama Laakari, which increased the discontent.

More people came to the streets, they were more shots. "But we are not afraid. I responded with stones. And he was released." There were two serious injuries. Not going out free to the public. That happened on Tuesday. A cut that happened essential supplies and the increase of troops in the streets.

"Van uniform, prevent moving cars, not let get to the hospital," lamented the interviewees. On Thursday, the tanks began to surround the entrances to the Kalah Tall. "It was our only chance to leave. The men told us that breakaway, they protect the houses, but they only have sticks, not guns.

We took clothes and some money, prepare children and left the city," said N. , another resident of Syria. "Now you can not enter or leave. We know nothing of our own." This mother of four children, admits without shame that actively participated in the marches when they entered the third week.

"Do not believe a word the system, there is no terrorist Salafists among the protesters. The only terrorist is Maher [Assad]" she says. Another refugee, it reached the village of Buqaya, said that "half of the demonstrators are women. We have lost the fear, the regime will fall and those responsible will pay with prison." Almost everyone agrees that sectarian differences, the same that led to neighboring Iraq and Lebanon to civil conflict, are one of the main reasons for the insurrection.

"It is a discriminatory government, favors the Alawi, the Shiite Sunni need a referral to access any public office," explains Mustafa, the only of respondents who agree to give his first name. The fear of many a popular uprising that led to civil conflict was confirmed by the scene of a house, when two refugee respondents rebuked shouting "we are Sunni and we are with Asad." Were evicted from the house.

But there are more reasons, especially the lack of freedom. "In Syria, they arrest us for no reason, anyone who talks about losing political freedom, if not life, torture us ... All the promises of reform are lies. The people are ready to give their lives for freedom," adds young in their early twenties, holding in her arms a baby of six weeks wrapped in a blanket.

A man, stands proud. All respondents were referred to a year ago to explain the supine Tall al Kalah upset against Assad's government. "One day soldiers came from the Air Force and began to arrest the men. All Sunnis. They put bags over their heads and took hundreds of them said that they did to stop the smuggling but the fact is that they never released.

" One woman lost her husband in those arrests, and now fears he is dead. "There was no trial. We do not know if they are in prison or a grave," he laments. This explains why the town lost the fear in demanding the release of prisoners, Syria once infected by the enthusiasm of the Arab spring.

Tell the Syrians that the current situation in Tall al Kalah is undeclared curfew. "Do not record the houses, but let us not concentrate. It's hard to even go to the market. When we began to prohibit the movement of vehicles." Almost as frustrating as the siege is the absence of news and spreading unconfirmed rumors that speak of mass graves of soldiers fresh or face their commanders not to shoot their own people.

"Those who refuse to do so are killed and then the system attributes his death to terrorists," said N., in what is a common comment among the interviewees. "But we have no weapons with which to kill them. The Sunnis do not have weapons in Syria." For the 3,000 new residents of Wadi Khaled, a valley where 22 villages are framed by mountains, the flight was not easy.

When they reached the border, illegal crossings where only a barbed wire marks the difference between Syria and Lebanon, Syrian agents were stopped. "Do not let us through, but as was accumulating people were scared," he says. A Lebanese neighbor added that the men of Wadi Khaled did their part.

"When they learned that there were women and children trying to escape, went to the border with guns and began firing into the air. The Syrians gave way and fled, and the Lebanese refugees picked up in cars and minibuses to seek accommodation." In the four homes visited by ELMUNDO. it had an average of 20 Syrians, who share food and shelter to Lebanese families hosting them.

At the crossing, every 15 minutes a family greeted the soldiers in Beirut that have taken positions with orders to assist them. "This will be the end of Asad because this time it is not like 1982 when there was no Internet or phones," referring to Mustafa reconsiders the slaughter of Hama, when Hafez al-Assad put down a revolt Islamist killing about 20,000 people.

"We are all journalists and everything is going to know," he says lovingly caressing your phone.

No comments:

Post a Comment