Syria – the story of a deserter (who got away)

In Libya and in Syria, military and police who refused to open fire on unarmed civilians have been killed. In Libya there had been evidence that the young soldiers were handcuffed and placed on the trucks going to the “front”. If they were not already dead (because they were shot) then they died as a result of the truck being hit by rockets. This happened in the early days as the tanks rolled from Brega and close to Benghazi. Thousands of military have deserted in Libya. However, the same thing is happening in Syria, where the young members of the military cannot stomach the idea of opening up on unarmed civilians.

The current blood-thirsty attack on a northern Syrian town was due to the deaths of 120 police and military. The regime claims that this was the work of armed gangs, but there is mounting evidence that they were shot in the back because they refused to participate in a massacre. Also, the regime is lying about “defusing bombs on the road” as the tanks rumbled towards that town. The impression given is that these people belong to something like AQ, but I am not sure that is the truth.

In a report from the AustralianĀ ABC, one Syrian deserter tells his story about why he left and is now in hiding:

Human rights activists and residents deny the allegations of a massacre and say a number of policemen were executed by other security force members when they refused to fire on protesters in Jisr al-Shughur.

Harrowing reports of atrocities committed during Syria’s crackdown, including deserting soldiers’ accounts of massacred civilians, have sparked fresh international outrage.

Accounts have emerged from some of the thousands who fled to Turkey from the bloodshed in Jisr al-Shughur.

Among them were Syrian army deserters who told of atrocities committed by soldiers in suppressing protests, who themselves were under the threat of execution if they disobeyed orders.

Tahal al-Lush described the operation, in Ar-Rastan, a town of 50,000 people in Homs province, that had pushed him to desert.

We were told that people were armed there. But when we arrived, we saw that they were ordinary civilians. We were ordered to shoot them,” said Mr Lush, with a blank stare in his eyes.

“When we entered the houses, we opened fire on everyone, the young, the old… Women were raped in front of their husbands and children.”

He showed his military passbook and other papers as proof of identity.

A second conscript, Mohammed Mirwan Khalaf, said he had been in a unit stationed at Idlib, near the border.

“Just in front of me, a professional soldier pulled out his knife and stabbed a civilian in the head, for no reason,” he said.

In the Turkish city of Antakya, Nabil, one of the last Syrian aid workers out of Jisr al-Shughur, recalled the roar of helicopters and a “skull split in two” before he collapsed with a bullet in his back.


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