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Syria - The Terror Of The Wait

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In Syria, "The Terror Of The Wait" comes from so many directions and so many potential sources that people are overwhelmed with how to stay safe. There are 2.9 million Syrians who have left and found refuge in surrounding countries, however, there are still millions of people still in Syria. There are Syrians who live in Assad "protected areas" that still have a relatively unchanged life.

In stark contrast, there are over 9 million Syrians who are living destitute as an Internal Displaced Person (IPD). These impoverished individuals have had to leave their home, likely have lost a supporting member of the family, and have no other family to rely on.

Many displaced people are living in tents, eating very poorly, and have unattended Medical issues. Other Syrians are under siege, unable to get food or medical treatment. People living in Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Homs and East Ghouta are examples of areas where thousands upon thousands of people are held under siege with no viable food to eat.

Sectarian Division - A weapon of war

In Syria there is no safe place, unless Assad has the area under regime control and the regime approves of who is in residence. The Assad regime has successfully created sectarian division across Syria as a "weapon of war." These are the same people who have lived as neighbors for years before this human disaster. Pitting people against each other, by causing distrust and even worst hatred has effectively emboldened the underlying mission of the Assad regime and "his" allies.

Syrians who used to be neighbors now may be afraid to trust each other because they are of different sects such as Sunni and Alawite, or Sunni and Christian. It is difficult to "fight a negative propaganda machine like the Assad regime has created. In this propaganda game, the only "group" that Assad cares about reaching the winners circle is the Assad "Circle of Friends," however, he defines that circle. It certainly cannot be the entire Alawite community. More likely it is his inner circle, and only Alawites and Sunni who are very close to him (such as his wife Asma) and selected others. Everyone else is expendable.

Homs - Terrified of Being "A Theatre of Death"

Homs is once again under full attack by the Assad regime. This is the same town that has been under Siege for two years. The City has had little or no aid entering the city, and when a recent UN and Red Crescent convoy of food and medical supplies tried to enter the city they were shot at and mortar was fired at them. It became a heroic act to supply some of the aid, and unfortunately it also became an attack were aid workers and activist were injured.

Assad does not care who is dying as a result of his aggression. There is no protection for children, women, the ill or the elderly. Samantha Powers, US Ambassador to the UN, tweeted on April 17th, "Deeply concerned by the Syrian regime's ongoing onslaught on Homs. As UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi noted, #Homs is once again 'a theatre of death'."

ChildofHoms
This precious child of Homs unfortunately means nothing to Bashar al-Assad. He only cares about those people that can keep him in his Dictator's chair.
Photo Credit: Free Syria Media Hub

The ISIS Factor

The "Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham" is a terrorist organization that has no compassion or remorse. They leave havoc and destruction in their path no matter which direction they go, and they do not care if their victims are military or civilian. They have left victims behind them who are adults and children. When ISIS or Da'ash (the Arabic name) enters a town, people immediately choke with terror. People's lives change as soon as ISIS enters their lives.

ISIS begins to dictate new "rules to live by" which are according to them the "Islamic way." However, if any laws that they dictate are broken for any reason the Da'ash assess severe public punishment which is not the Islamic way. It is the "terrorist way." People are flogged in public squares or executed without the benefit of a trial or Sharia hearing. The fear factor of the people who find themselves in the ISIS mechanism becomes unbearable once they discover that the promise of deliverance from hunger isn't worth the cruelty and pain they inflict on others.

ISIS has been engaged in an all-out war against the Kurdish territories in Syria since March 2014. This is an obvious campaign of payback after months of humiliating defeats after the forces of the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG (Yekneyn Parastina Gel) defeated ISIS killing at least 1,000 ISIS fighters since summer 2013. (YPG claims 3,000 ISIS fighters were killed). According to the Kurdistan Tribune, "ISIS has made public announcements calling the Kurds infidels and legitimizing brutal terror against them." Social media websites dealing with Western Kurdistan are "full of gruesome pictures of beheaded Kurdish civilians and fighters." The systematic targeting of Kurds in Syria by ISIS is astonishing!

According to Syria Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on April 15th, "Abu Muhammad al-Ansari, the Emir of Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib area was assassinated. In addition to assassinating al-Ansari, the assassins also murdered al-Ansari's wife and two children; as well as, his two brothers who were staying at his home. This action was clearly not a military action, rather a vengeful murder. SOHR reported that four "Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham or ISIS sleepers from Harem area entered al-Ansari's house in the Ras Al-Hesen village where he lived apparently to check on his health after an accident he was exposed to few days before. It appears clear that these assassins were well known to the family and allowed to walk in.

@Yallasouria states "the use of a pistol with a silencer is the MO of the ISIS group." SOHR stated, "After an investigation, many fighters from Jabhat AL-Nusra went to the sleeper's house, to determine what led to clashes between the two sides. One ISIS fighter detonated himself and killed another fighter from ISIS. Jabhat Al-Nusra managed to detain the two of the assassins."

This incident raises a scary question! How many additional ISIS sleeper cells are are being or have are been already strategically placed throughout Syria either within al-Nusra, or FSA groups including the Islamic Front? When fighters defect from ISIS, to either of these groups, how can the receiving group know if the "new member" truly is a defector or a "newly planted sleeper?"

This is a new kind of terror from within, obviously was not a worry that al-Ansari felt concerned about, and the result got him, his wife and children killed. Does every FSA leader have to live at a more heightened alert for themselves and their families than they already do? In addition to the "normal expectations of terror" from Assad, are "ISIS sleepers" a new kind of silent terror for the People of Syria - the kind that makes a person wary of anyone they don't already know?

Fear Factor Coming from All Fronts

In the Idlib area around Maart the word is that the people are totally cut off by mercenaries from Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iran (Revolutionary Guard) and Iraq. The people living in this area are terrified as they do not know what is coming next. Will it be another attack from an ISIS sleeper cell? Or are the mercenaries going to squeeze in on them?

Idlib Kids
Two young girls in the school yard in Manchuren, Idlib looking through the lock gate. There expression speaks more than words.
Khaled Abou El Ezz

Besides all of those tangible threats, the activist can hear radio chatter that leads them to believe than there may be a Chlorine Gas attacks headed their way. As a result, the towns in the local area are on 24 hour alert. They are monitoring the airspace and the ground movement of any potential attacks by tanks. At night when people should be sleeping soundly in there beds at home, they are evacuating their homes and moving to safer quarters.

The fear of a Chlorine Gas attack is not a false fantasy. In the last month, there has been several instances of Chlorine Gas attacks in E. Ghouta and Hama both which resulted in injuries and deaths of children. And on April 18th, Assad Air strikes hit Hama and Idlib both. In Southern Idlib, hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of children brought in for treatment. More than 50 cases of suffocation were transferred to field hospitals in Al-Taman'ah after barrel bombs were dropped containing Chlorine Gas.

Although this gas is said to be non-lethal, in Syria it is proving to have devastating effects. Of course the Assad regime is blaming the attacks on terrorists, however, Israel has come out stating these attacks are certainly from the regime. The US says they are "assessing the situation." It is time to STOP assessing and START TAKING ACTION before Assad destroys all the millions of people that are still in Syria. This is not a question of should we help, it is an MORAL IMPERATIVE.

To Be On The Regime Hit List

The Assad regime "Hit List" is what "The Terror of the Wait" translates into. The terror is real! It is not made up story, or a hallucination told to make people feel pity. This terror happens every day in Syria and it is not going to stop until the Assad regime no longer has the power to act like a "Monster from Hell".

April 16, 2014 - to the moment updates by Local Coordination Committees in Syria
Shaam News Network (SNN)
2m Homs | Regime helicopters are dropping explosive barrels on the city's besieged districts amid regime artillery shelling on the area.
9m Homs: Fierce explosive barrels shelling by helicopters targets the besieged neighborhoods of the city
17m Idlib: Sarmeen: Fierce artillery shelling targets the town
5h Aleppo | Regime warplanes have struck the city's western quarters with large caliber machine gunfire.
5h Deir Ezzor | Clashes between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Assad forces continue in Alhuwaiqa district.
7h Homs | Addar Alabeera | Regime mortar shelling has targeted the township.
7h Aleppo | Kafr Hamra | Assad forces have shelled the township with artillery.
7h Aleppo | Assad warplanes have struck the vicinity of the Artillery Battalion in Azzahraa district with large caliber machine gunfire.
8h Homs | Clashes between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Assad forces on the outskirts of the besieged districts amid regime mortar and artillery shelling on the area.
8h Damascus Rural | Azzabadani | A number of citizens were killed and wounded as a result of regime shelling on the city.
8h Idlib: Ein Qraee: Fierce clashes between FSA and regime forces amid attempt for regime forces to progress in the area
8h Homs: Interrupted clashes between FSA and regime forces amid fierce shelling with vacuum bombs, tanks, gvozdika, and mortar targeting old Homs.
8h Homs: Dar Kabira: Mortar shelling targets the town
8h Damascus Suburbs: Zabadany: Artillery shelling targets the city lead to 5 martyrs and tens of wounded
8h Damascus Suburbs: Zabadany: Omar Abo Hamad, Abdulrahman Abo Hamad, Omar Al-Kanakry, Redwan Al-Zain and his brother due to artillery shelling in the city
9h Deir Ezzor | The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has detonated a regime post in Assinaa district in Deir Ezzor city, killing and wounding a number of regime soldiers
9h Damascus Rural | Almlaiha | Clashes between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Assad forces in the vicinity of the township
9h Homs | Alwaer | Assad forces continue to bombard the district with barrel bombs and mortar shells
9h Homs | Regime rocket and artillery shelling on Alqarabis, Alqusur and Jouret Ashiyah districts in Homs city
9h Aleppo | Regime warplanes have struck Dahret Abd Rabbuh village in rural Aleppo and the vicinity of the Air Force Intelligence Agency in Azzahraa district in Aleppo city with large caliber machine gunfire
9h Deir Ezzor | An explosion has rocked eastern rural Deir Ezzor
10h Homs | Alwaer | Regime forces have targeted the district's seventh zone with barrel bombs
65 martyrs in #Syria on Friday -

Local Coordination Committees in Syria
By the end of Friday the Coordination Committees were able to document 65 martyrs in Syria including 2 women, 5 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 23 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 16 in Homs; 9 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 6 in Daraa; 4 in Idlib; 3 in Deir Ezzor; 2 in Hama and 2 martyrs in Raqqa.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SEE IMAGES OF SYRIA?

LOOK,HEAR, INTERNALIZE - TAKE ACTION!

How do you take action? Call your National Representative. Find a local charity that is working for Syria. Of if you need other suggestions, email Kimberly.Jones@theglobalattitude.com for more ideas. There are so many ways that you can help!

TORONTO REACTS TO IMAGES FROM SYRIA

FLASHMOB FOR SYRIA

FLASHMOB FOR SYRIA

Kimberly Jones is a global nomad who writes about international issues, however, she has a special interest in Middle East and North Africa affairs. Read more stories by Kimberly Jones.

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