While the Syrian revolution has become increasingly sectarian and the fighting has often been dominated by Islamists, one brigade of the Free Syrian Army in Salamiya fights for a united and diverse Syria, and within the brigade multiple sects fight side by side.
The “Phalange Brigade of the Free Syrian Army” claims to fight for a democratic, civic state that unites and protects all Syrians under one slogan: "The Syrian People are One." This brigade, which is the dominant revolutionary force in Salamiya, is comprised of intellectual youth who believe that education and culture are revolutionary weapons. They envision a civic state, built on concepts of constructive criticism and spreading understanding between all of the Syrian sects. Even though Al Salamiya is the Middle Eastern cultural capitol of the Ismaili sect of Islam, the brigade prides itself on being non-sectarian and is comprised of Sunnis, Alawites, Ismailis, and others.
Like many in the Syrian revolution, the Phalange Brigade of the Free Syrian Army claims that they began their uprising using peaceful means. However, after the oppression and injustice that their city witnessed, they say that they have been forced to carry guns and join the armed resistance to Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. The men now wait for the regime’s bombing and shelling of their homes to end so they can resume their lives normally, and work on building a democratic Syria.
بعد ان اجتاح الفكر الطائفي الثورة السورية، ظهرت الكتائب الإسلامية لتكون الطاغية على الصفة الثورية في معظم المدن السورية. في مدينة السلمية التي تقع على بعد ثلاثين كيلومتراً إلى الشرق من مدينة حماه و التي تعتبر عاصمة الطائفة الاسماعيلية في سورية و الشرق الأوسط والتي شهدت حراكاً ثورياً كثيفاً على امتداد الثورة، تشكلت كتيبة للجيش الحر تطالب بدولة مدنية ديمقراطية تحمي الجميع تحت شعار الشعب السوري واحد. هي كتيبة مؤلفة من مجموعة من الشباب المثقفين من كافة الطوائف( سنة، علويين، و اسماعيليين)، يعتبرون الفكر و الثقافة سلاح، و لكن نتيجة القمع و الظلم الذي تعرضت له مدينتهم اضطروا لحمل السلاح لإيمانهم بأن الحل الوحيد لاسقاط النظام هو القتال المسلح. هؤلاء الشباب ينتظرون سقوط النظام ليعودوا إلى حياتهم الطبيعية، و ليعملوا على بناء سورية الديمقراطية، التعددية، المدنية عن طريق الفكر البناء و نشر التوعية بين جميع السوريين بكافة طوائفهم.
00:04 The movements in Salamiyah started peacefully
00:09 Like all syrian cities, it rebelled against oppression.
00:13 We started peacefully, until we started helping refugees who came from stricken areas.
00:20 security pressures increased on the activists, so they carried guns
00:33 Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, the regime accused protesters of sectarianism.
00:41 Al Salamiya replied to that accusation saying, one one one Syrian People are one. This was the case because, in Al Salamiya, people went out to the streets from all sects.
and the first sign that was raised in Salamiya was saying Sunnis+ Alawis+ Ismailis= National unity
01:03 This atmosphere of brotherhood has been transferred to this brigade in which there are soldiers from different sects. Tt's not a sectarian brigade, it's not Sunni, Alawi, or Ismaili.
01:25 we're suffering from the lack of support on all levels. On the military level, we don't have enough weapons and bullets, and also on the living level.
01:36 We're lacking support on all levels, but thank God we remain patient until we get rid of Bashar Al Assad.
01:48 Al Salamiya’ weapon, as it's knows through history, is Education and Knowledge.
01:55 But, because of the harsh oppression that it suffered from, the men had to carry guns.
02:00 They saw that this is only way to overthrow the regime.
02:12 But after the regime falls, God willing, we will drop our weapons and get back to the real weapon and the most important weapon which is the Knowledge and education in order to build a democratic Syria, a diverse Syria, a Syria for all people, a Syria for all sects, a country that competes with all other countries all over the world.
02:37 for sure, we're working in a direction where we're trying to take a step forward and cut roads to help other groups in the neighboring areas and our goal is to liberate Salamiya.
02:55 Hey guys, keep quiet.