Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inside Syria: the rebel call for arms and ammunition

Exclusive: With Syrian rebels desperate for arms, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad finds smugglers doing a roaring trade selling guns and bullets

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Sunday 11 December 2011

"....After eight months of vicious crackdowns by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria's revolution is sliding towards civil war. Many in the opposition who have seen their friends and family members disappeared, tortured or shot by the Syrian security forces are looking for ways to fight back.

The smugglers, sensing a business opportunity, have been quick to respond. In the south of the country the weapons come from Lebanon.

Here in the north, they are flowing in from Turkey and Iraq.....

"We started the revolution because we wanted to be treated like humans, we are looking for our humanity," said Amar, a commander with a short beard and thick arms. "All my life I have been treated like an inferior, a human being of the 10th class, while Assad and his people controlled this country. We also have a right in this country."

One of the council members seemed to carry more authority than the others. He was thin and angry, his face creased like an old leather chair.

"This revolution was led by the kids, the children," he said. "It's their revolution. This is the generation that didn't see the horrors of the 80s.

"If it was up to us we would have never started the revolution. We have been burned once. But they are brave. They led and we followed."....."

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