Tags / War in Syria
September 18, 2014
Idlib Province, Syria
Since the start of the Syrian war, groups of civilians have quietly monitored the movements of Bashar al-Assad’s forces in order to assist the armed opposition to the Syrian government. Known as "Spotters", their ranks include children and they monitor an area stretching from Quneitra to the Syrian-Turkish border.
According to some, it all started with individual efforts until these spotters became connected to each other through support stations. The spotters monitor the movements of the Syrian regime’s forces on the ground and in the air.
The air spotters monitor the movements of Assad’s air force on hand-held devices that specifically spy on pilots and airport terminals. They then inform fighters on the ground of the plane’s direction and its target. They follow up on the aircraft’s aerial activities to monitor and often confront them.
“Front Spotters” refers to those who monitor the movement of ground forces. They work on the front lines and in battles to keep abreast of enemy movements. They spy on the enemy’s activities and the movement of vehicles and soldiers, and provide targets for mortars and cannons.
1- Shots of the youngest spotter in the region, Ali Badran, aged 15, who has been monitoring for almost six months. He followed in the footsteps of his father who worked as a spotter before ceding his place to his son.
2- Shots of the spotter Ali Badran with his father as he monitors on the top of Zawiya Mountain in the Idlib countryside.
3- Interview with the spotter Ahmad Badran Abu Ali during which he talks about the start of his work, his gradual advance, how his son got involved in the field and how he sees his work.
4- Close-up and medium shots of Ahmad Badran during the interview with him.
5- Shots of Ahmad Badran and his son sitting on top of Zawiya Mountain in the Idlib countryside.
6- Interview with Ali Badran, the youngest spotter who is just 15 years old, during which he talks about his work, studies, the importance of his work, and why he dropped out of school to work in monitoring.
7- Close-up and medium shots of the youngest spotter Ali Badran.
8- Shots of the spotter Abu Khaled on the roof of his house where he refused to talk to the camera.
9- Wide, medium and close-up shots of the spotters Jamal Deebo and Abu Bahr, positioned on the highest hill peak in Maarrat al-Nu’man, covering Wadi Eldaif area and the Hamadia Camp from the Maarrat al-Nu’man side.
10- Interview with the spotter Jamal Deebo during which he talks about his work, its importance, and the difficulties he encounters.
11- Interview with the spotter Abu Bahr who works on the western front of Maarrat al-Nu’man during which he talks about his work, its mechanisms and importance, and the challenges they face given the shortage of equipment and support.
12- Shots of Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades and a fighter on Camp Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib Countryside.
13- Interview with Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades during which he talks about the spotters, their importance to the front fighters, their types and work mechanisms.
14- Shots of Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades and a fighter on Camp Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib Countryside.
15- Interview with the spotter Muhammad Abu Abdullah from Maarshamsha Town in the Southern Idlib Countryside who is a military spotter on the front, during which he talks about his work, its mechanisms, how to pick up the enemy’s signals and deal with the information he gets from the hand held devices, and the difficulties he encounters.
16- Close-up and medium shots of Abu Abdullah during his interview.
17- Interview with Abu Abdullah continues as he talks about his work with the Syrian Army in monitoring.
18- Close-up and medium shots of Abu Abdullah inside his own spotter on Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib countryside.
19- Shots of Abu Abdullah while working on the handpieces.
20- Shots of Abu Abdullah on the front line correcting to the fighters the targets of the missiles launched on Wadi Eldaif and shots of Wadi Eldaif’s where Al Assad’s forces are positioned and considered surrounded for more than two years.
21- Wide and medium shots of Omar Ibrahim AlJaban (Abu Uday) Commander of The Martyr Sheikh Abdul Waris Battalion in the Nation Brigade in Edlib Countryside that works in Wadi Eldaif and Hamadia Camp.
22- Interview with Abu Uday during which he talks about the fighting places, the spotters and their importance for the fighters on the ground, and the difficulties they encounter.
23- Close up shots of Abu Uday during the interview.
24- Close up, medium and wide shots of Abu Uday with the fighters in his battalion in their camp on the Wadi Eldaif front.
Starts at 00:34
Ali: How are you?
Other man: I hear you, over
Ali: Where are you? How’s the situation at your end?
Ali: Calling for Sham, Sham how is the situation?
Sham: There is only one aircraft hovering.
Ali: The war in Hama has not ended yet. The pig said it had but he’s a liar and a deceiver. Be cautious, the war has not ended yet.
Sham: I see two helicopters with barrel bombs
Ali: There are two helicopters with barrel bombs coming from Hama, brace yourselves and be cautious.
Ends at 01:22
Starts at 01:31
Man: Badran, Badran
Badran: I hear you, brother
Man: How are you Abu Ali?
Badran: May God Protect you
Badran: I go with my colleagues, and monitor the battle for a day, or two or even three, I have no problem. Now my son, Spotter Ali Badran nicknamed The Young Badran monitors the area while I work and try to make a living.
Badran: When they talk about him I feel proud because he’s doing all he can to help in Jihad, this is his capacity.
Ends at 02:09
Starts at 02:22
Ali: I monitor the area and I help by sending warnings to the brothers to avoid the barrel bombs. I am 15 years old and I am in grade 9. I am in grade 9 but I will not attend my classes because of the situation and because schools will not open their doors. We have to fight in the name of God. This is what God called Jihad.
Ends at 02:55
Starts at 03:02
Ali: What do I do? For example an aircraft just left Hama, when it leaves he sends me signals and riddles, he says pines for example. Now the riddles we use have been changed and I’m trying to learn and memorize them step by step. For example when an aircraft leaves Hama I send warnings to the fronts of Northern Hama Countryside, the Southern Front, Khattab, Muri, Kifirzeity. I send warning to the liberated areas and the fronts.
Ends at 03:31
Starts at 03:35
Ali: My plans? I hope I have state-of-the-art equipments that are more developed than those the other spotters use so that my voice reaches Al Qalamoun, Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Latakia and all fronts.
Ends at 03:57
Starts at 04:01
Jamal Deebo: okay Abu Yasser.
Man: tell them there is a checkpoint on the road
Abu Bahr: I see soldiers moving next to the checkpoint
Ends at 04:15
Starts at 04:19
Abu Bahr: okay, God bless you
Ends at 04:22
Starts at 04:25
Abu Bahr: it’s clear, all clear
Ends at 04:27
Starts at 04:46
Abu Bahr: Abu Bahr here, I hear you, over
Man: How are you?
Abu Bahr: Great
Ends at 04:57
Starts at 05:01
Jamal Deebo: At each moment and each second you find us working to serve the fighters on the fronts and to serve the civilians in their houses and towns. As you can see, aircraft are constantly hovering and towns and villages are always showered with missiles and shells, from the far Karm Al Hawajez targeted by airports, long range cluster missiles and ground-to-ground missiles.
We are noticing that anyone with no job is becoming a spotter. Unfortunately this is a mistake we are making. It is a huge mistake we are making. We are supposed to organize the work because as you know spotters are the best weapon we have right now. Tanks and missiles would be useless without a spotter. Intruders cannot do their job without spotters who clear their way.
Ends at 06:06
Starts at 06:12
Abu Bahr: Our spotter is a part of a network that covers an area stretching from Daraa to the Syrian Turkish borders. I work here on these fronts from Hama’s airport to the area I told you about. We send warnings to the civilians and the fighters on the ground who are the rebels about the aircrafts, missiles, shells. Civilians go to the shelters while the fighters prepare themselves to the battle. This is what we do as spotters.
Ends at 06:44
Starts at 06:47
Abu Bahr: I used to serve in the army’s signal battalion. A fight is pointless without a sign, wherever it takes place. We have very simple equipment.
Ends at 06:57
Starts at 07:01
Man: During the battle I was searching with Fouad for Hammoud
Ends at 07:06
Starts at 07:15
Mutaa’ AlQassem: We have two types of spotters that serve our interests. Air spotters and Front spotters who have stations just like us. The first spotters, who are air spotters, send a warning from the moment the plane takes off by saying: aircraft take off from Hama’s airport for example. The spotter defines the location of the pilot as his work station location. This is when all the campers and all the rebels take precautions. And when a plane takes off without a notice, the spotter warns all the fronts that the aircraft took off and the pilot did not send a notice.
Ends at 08:34
Starts at 08:39
Mutaa’ AlQassem: The second spotter is the one at the front. He is a camping spotter who monitors the movements of the soldiers and their vehicles. He also has listening devices to spy on them. For example if the spotters on the eastern front see soldiers in a certain area and building, they have to deal with the situation.
Muhammad Abu Abdullah: For him and his fellow campers. I’ve been a spotter for two years
Interviewer: And what did you do for a living before that?
Muhammad: I was a concrete worker. As you can see we have hand devices that belong to the army. We saved the frequencies the army uses. After thorough research we managed to reveal these frequencies. Each time we reveal a frequency and know it is used in our area or in other areas such al Hamdiya or Jdar ElKheder we save it. We try to save them in order, the Emmay frequency has other 5 sub frequencies, so we save them together, this makes it easy for us to switch between frequencies. The army has state-of-the-art equipment. This is how we can manage to be as fast as them in switching between frequencies. We save the frequencies of one area on one device. We spy on all the talks and all the targets and warn the other guys on the front. An Air spotter is not located near the front, he is usually far from the fronts in an area he deems fit and has equipment to monitor aircrafts. He might be able to listen to the army’s frequencies; however his work is concentrated on the aircraft frequencies. He reports the movement of the aircraft, their possible targets and the airport they are heading to.
Ends at 10:48
Starts at 11:00
Man: we hear you
Muhammad Abu Abdullah: for all the brothers filling bags, the pigs can see you and are preparing an attack but I can’t know where they are. They are talking about you. Be cautious. May God protect you.
Ends at 11:20
Starts at 11:27
Muhammad: Brothers on the western front, God protect you.
Ends at 11:40
Starts at 12:10
Interviewer: How old are you?
Abu Uday: 79 years old. My brother was responsible of this area. He died in the Al Marsous battle. Thank God spotters are very beneficial. There are air spotters and ground spotters that monitor the army’s movements. Spotters have warned fighters on the ground more than a dozen times of the army’s attacks. These attacks would be lethal were it not for the spotters on the fronts who warn the fighters of the army’s movements, the fighters would have died. Spotters on the fronts have saved the fighters more than a dozen times. Air spotters also play a key role when they report an aircraft taking off from Hama’s airport, we take precautions and stand ready to fight.
Ends at 13:55
September 19-21, 2014
Deir Ez Zour, Syria
Citizens in IS held Deir Ez Zour discuss the impending US strikes. Included are vox pops with a local woman and an IS fighter.
Sound Bite 1: Jamal, Nurse
"What is your opinion concerning the international air strikes and the countries contributing in the strikes?"
Jamal: "It will have a negative effect on the Arabs and the Islamic state, we are an Islamic state built on the basis of Quran and Sunna, so if the strikes were from the west, they will rise problems for the Islamic state."
Interviewer: How is your spirit and your preparations?
Jamal: "Our spirit is positive and we are insisting to deliver our message and we do not doubt the abilities of the fighters."
Interviewer: "Is there a fear that the Islamic State will lose some of the areas it controls after the strike?"
Jamal: "We do not fear this movement, it is a zionist movement against the Islamic State. We do not approve of this issue because we are Muslims."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power after 40 countries have announced that they will contribute in the air strikes?"
Jamal: "The power we have is the support of God, no power exceeds the power of God. We insist on this method, the method of Islam."
Sound Bite 2: Khaled, Fighter:
"There will be battles, and those air strikes will not change anything. My opinion is that those air strikes will not affect us at all."
Sound Bite 3: Abu Abdullah:
"America remains the enemy of Islam and Muslims, and those who support America is the enemy of Islam and Muslims. All Muslims are against those strikes and we will stand against them."
Sound Bite 4: Abu Mohammad:
Interviewer: "How is your spirit and preparations?"
Abu Mohammad: "Well our spirit is very positive because we have the support of God and he will help the Muslims win. He will help our brothers in the Islamic State."
Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state will stop expanding after the strikes?"
Abu Mohammad: "I do not think so, they have a very positive spirit. When we sit with some of the brothers we notice their positive spirit and their commitment to expand."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of powers since over 40 countries agreed to contribute in the strike?"
Abu Mohammad: "They have the power when it comes to planes, but on the ground they cannot beat our fighters. God will help them."
Sound Bite 5: Mohammad, owner of electronics shop:
Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the international strikes against the Islamic state, and the countries that are contributing [to the strikes]?"
Mohammad: "My Muslim brother, concerning the upcoming American strikes and the Jewish liberal western alliance that is happening against the Islamic state, we do care about the name, we talk about this concerning the Shari'a. The Shari'a of god will be applied literally, we are not applying it literally now, but hopefully we will reach a point where we will. As for the people participating with the infidels in fighting the Islamic State, those Arab presidents, those dictators fight any person who tries to apply the Shari'a of God. Any person who helps the infidels fight the Muslims is the biggest infidel. Those are the word of Sheikh Salman Bin Fahed al-Alwan, may God release him from the prisons of the Saudi family."
Interviewer: "How is the preparation for the strikes?"
Mohammad: "We have God on our side. They have the infidels and we have God."
Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"
Mohammad: "God is supporting us to stay on this land. We know that Islam is fought by everyone and anyone who tries to apply the Shari's is fought, but God will help us win."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power since over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"
Mohammad: "This is very similar to the previous question, I already told you, we have God supporting us. If all the countries in the world cooperate against the Islamic State, and God wants us to win, we will win. God will help us win, and stay, and apply the Shari'a. Those who have the support of God fear nobody."
Sound Bite 6: Abu Yaakoub:
Interviewer: "What is your opinion concerning the international air strikes and the countries contributing to the strikes?"
"We all know that those air strikes are against Sunni Muslims. They tried to cover it by saying that they are striking against the extremist groups, but it is only against the Sunni groups. And now America is afraid of the Muslims because they are getting stronger and that is why it is trying to destroy us."
Interviewer: "How are you, as doctors and civilians, preparing for the strike?"
Abu Yaakoub: "We have been preparing for over three years against any strike despite of our humble abilities. We are prepared against a strike, we knew people are going to interfere to protect Bashar and his followers and to protect the Shia. We were able to stand against all the attacks we have been facing for the past three years. We have had barrel bombs dropped on us, we have been attacked so many times and we survived. Bashar was not fighting us alone, he had many by his side, we were fighting half of the world and now the whole world is fighting us and we are ready."
Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"
Abu Yaakoub: "We know that God will be on the side of the righteous people, and if the Islamic state is right, then nothing they will do can harm us. We know for sure that victory is meant for the Sunnis and we are meant to go back to the Islamic caliphate, just like the Era of prophet Mohammad. If anything, we expect the strike to bring us close together and the concept of the Islamic state will expand to all of the Levant and hopefully Mesopotamia."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power now that over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"
Abu Yaakoub: "We are convinced that if the whole world came together to destroy the people of the prophet Mohammad, they will not be able to. They will never be able to destroy the people of Mohammad, we are staying until judgment day."
Sound Bite 7: Um Sabri:
Interviewer: "How is the spirit and the preparations?"
Um Sabri: "Thank God we are preparing very well because, for the past three years, we have been receiving strikes from Bashar al-Assad."
Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the American strikes and the countries that are contributing to the air strikes considering a lot of them are Arab countries?Um Sabri: I believe the air strikes are not against what they call ISIS which is the Islamic state, it is against the Syrians who proved to the world their strength with their amazing revolution, and to defend Bashar al-Assad."
Interviewer: "How are the civilians preparing?"
Um Sabri: "This question is very late, they should have asked how we prepare for the strikes of Bashar al-Assad. The American strikes, along with the 40 countries, are not going to be tougher than the strikes of Bashar al-Assad. So, thank God, the days have proven that we are ready for any strike from the infidels."
Interviewer: "Is there a fear that the American strikes might slow down the expansion of the Islamic state?"
Um Sabri: "That is up to the strength of belief in this organization. If they are right, God will help them, and if they were wrong, God will take care of them."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power when there are over 40 countries contributing in the strike?"
Um Sabri: "There is no balance in power between the Islamic State and those big countries who have the contribution of 40 countries, some of which are Arabs. Definitely there is no balance in powers, but victory comes from God."
Sound Bite 8: Man in the Street:
Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the international strikes against the Islamic state, and the countries that are contributing?"
Man: "Those are infidels, Americans are infidels and those who support them are infidels. The Islamic State will remain with the help of God."
Interviewer: How are the Spirit and the preparations?
Man: "We are ready for anything."
Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic State might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"
Man: "The Islamic state will remain with the help of God, we want religion, and with the help of God we will stay and expand."
Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power since over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"
Man: "They are infidels, the Islamic state will remain. Infidels have banded together to fight the Muslims throughout history, but we will remain with the help of God."
September 23, 2014
IS fighters and civilians collect the debris from a drone that crashed into a telecommunications tower in Clock Square, in central Raqqa. The origin of the drone is yet to be identified.
Abu Ahmad, civilian:
"We were able to take down an American jet the first time one flew over Raqqa."
Abu Abdullah, Police man:
"Thank God an American jet was shot down. When they hit the telecommunication tower, they lost control. This is a joy for the Muslims and proof that God is by our side and our state will remain."
Abu Lhatoun, IS fighter:
"They keep saying they have jets and they have weapons, but we have fighters who love death as much as they love life. The sky is owned by God and so is the land, and he will give it to who God wants. The drone hit the telecommunication tower and crashed."
Mohammad Ahmed, Civillian:
"We woke up to the sound of explosions in the early morning, and the shelling continued between 3-4 am. I then came here to find that drone had crashed after it hit the telecommunication tower."
"At 5am, a drone hit the telecommunication tower in Raqqa city. So we came and found the pieces in the streets, why are they doing this, we are Muslims."
Hatem Khalaf, University student:
"At 4am we woke up to the sound of explosion after a drone hit the telecommunication tower in Raqqa. The pieces of the plane were spread across the city."
Fadel Zida, Civilian:
"A drone crashed after it hit a telecommunications tower in Raqqa at 4 am. We tell America, we are not afraid."
September 9, 2014
Buried deep the historic al-Hamidiya Market in Damascus, one of the oldest traditional bathhouses in the city continues its business as usual, despite the ongoing war in Syria. Established in 1169, the Nour al-Din al-Shaheed bathhouse is one of the best examples of unadulterated Damascene history. It's cavernous bathing rooms and reception area have changed little over the years and guests can still enjoy an opportunity to experience a custom that has endured centuries of siege, occupation, and war.
(04:51) "I am Majed Abdul Rahman, I work in Nour al-Din al-Shahid public bath. This bath consists of 4 sections: the outside, inside, steam room and the massage and exfoliating room. We have grooms [men about to get married] coming here almost daily. When they come here they use the exfoliating and the massage room, then they shower and after that, they go to the outside section and change the towels, drink some tea and [smoke] nargileh [water pipe], rest, get dressed, pay, then leave. There are lots of public baths, but this bath is special as it is old and cultural, provides a nice experience, and is very communal, they [guests] are allowed to bring food with them." (05:53)
(05:54) "First of all, my work is between Lebanon and Syria, I come to Syria every week, and I cannot come here without passing by the bathroom and bathing here in Souk al-Hamidiya. Every time I come here I have to roam around Damascus, and I cross all this distance from Lebanon to Syria so I can enjoy this bath. Honestly, we do not have baths like that in Lebanon, you can only find it here in Souk al-Hamidiya. The visit to the bathroom is very comforting and relaxing, you forget bout all your troubles at work in Lebanon and you forget about it here in Souk al-Hamidiya. You feel like you went back in time, to the era of your ancestors, and this is something we lack in Lebanon." (06:38)
(06:39) "I come to this public bath with my friends regularly, we are a group of students, we come here to see each other, enjoy our time, the atmosphere here is nice, and it is very relaxing." (06:55)
(06:56) "We are a group of friends, we come here every once and a while, we really like it here and we enjoy our time. I advise every man to come here so he can experience the old culture through this public bath that has been around for over 1,000 years." (07:10)
Various shots of Souk al-Hamidiya
Various shots of the entrance of the bathhouse
Various shots of the bathhouse (exterior section)
Various shots of the bathhouse (interior section)
various shots of the steam room while its empty
Various shots of the steam room
Various shots of the exfoliating room
Various shots of people inside the exfoliating room
Various shots of the massage room
A shot of a person leaving the interior section
Various shots show the services provided in the bathhouse, such as tea and shisha
September 15, 2014
In the early morning of September 15, 2014 the Syrian Air Force bombed the roundabout under the Al Hajj Bridge in Aleppo with barrel bombs, leading to deaths and injuries of many civilians. In addition, a water pipe that supplies water to six neighborhoods in the city was severely damaged, causing flooding in the streets and creating a bomb crater in the road that filled with water from the burst pipes. After the bombing raid was over, local children began using the water filled crater as a swimming pool.
April 24, 2014
10 year old Abdullah suffers from burns on the lower part of his body that he received six months ago from an exploding shell. His family is unable to afford any medicine or treatment for his burns and, consequently, Abdullah is immobile and unable to attend school or work to support his family. He lives in his besieged, war torn village of Al Hanboushe, in Syria's Idlib province, with his mother, his ill father, and his siblings. His family shares a small, two-room house with his Aunt, who's husband was killed recently in an air raid, his grandparents, and his five cousins. Food is scarce and there are no able bodied adult males to provide for the family; Abdullah's grandfather is too old and frail to work.
Given that there is no one in Abdullah's family who is able to work, the family is forced to live off of the kindness of their neighbors and any food they can find in the surrounding fields. In short, Abdullah's family's daily existence is one of physical pain, boredom and hopelessness, with little end of the suffering in sight.
‘Sutoro’ (‘Security’ or ‘Police’ in the ancient Syriac-Aramaic language) is an anti-Assad Christian security force operating in the predominantly Kurdish autonomous regions of northeastern Syria. Sutoro, whose members come from the ancient Syriac minority, patrol and protect the Christian neighborhoods in the area. They also fight alongside Kurdish forces against both Bashar al-Assad and islamist rebel groups like ISIS. Although Syriacs were not persecuted for being Christians under Assad's secular Baathist government, they claim that they were nationally oppressed because the Baath regime had declared Syria an Arab-only state and denied the existence of all other ethnic minorities.
June 04, 2014
Car convoys of supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rally on the Mezzeh Highway in central Damascus.
June 3, 2014
Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Baath University.
Fatima Hussein, head of polling station:
"Since the early morning, ever since we got to the polling station ready to vote, large numbers of people came to the polling station. This is a huge rebuttal to all the enemies of Syria who are fighting us. This huge turnout came to vote for the new president of Syria who will lead us to the safety and security and help us rebuild Syria".
Mohamad al-Nasri, "Syria Lovers Youths" Spokesperson:
"We came here today to join this national celebration. We are convinced that we are going to vote for President Bashar al-Assad to renew his presidency because he is our leader here in Syria. We are also, as young adults, working here in the polling station to organize the election and ease the voting process. We are very happy on this day because we truly consider it a national celebration".
June 3, 2014
Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the al-Baath University.
Mohamad Moussa (Resident):
“I came here to vote for the right president, the one who will help us against terrorism, the one who rebuild Syria and who make us feel secure. We should all vote, it is a right for every citizen and I wish they would let our little children vote because it is a right. This is a celebration and a victory for Syria which proved to the whole world that it is strong and resistant. We want a president who is a fighter, who is strong and able to return security to Syria”.
Imad Ali (Residnet):
“We are the citizens of Homs and we are here to participate in this public celebration because it is real democracy and we want to teach the whole world that in Syria there is true democracy. While they [the world] lack the simplest means of democracy, we participate in this public celebration because we want a unified Syria governed by president Bashar al-Assad. Syria is facing the imperial system and we will participate in the election because Syrians taught pride, resilience and democracy to the world”.
June 3, 2014
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts his ballot in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Malki Neighborhood of Damascus.
Video Source: Syrian State Television
June 16, 2014
Video shows Syrians casting their votes for the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the Ministry of Information in Damascus.
Shirine Ahmad, Head of Polling Station:
“At 6:30 we were at the polling station, we opened the box and counted what it contains [blank voting ballots and envelopes]. We counted the envelopes and then we waited for the agents to come and seal the box. We then continued with the process. In the process [voters] first present their ID; we own a device to discover fake ID cards [ID's are verified]. Then the ID number is recorded in the polling document. The voter then takes an envelope and a voting ballot and enters the secret room. In the room he records his choice and then places it by hand in the ballot box and retrieves his ID. He then marks his finger with ink and that is the end of the process”.
Ali Ahmad, State Employee:
“This huge event, the day of the Syrian presidential election, is a national and constitutional duty. We want to chose the Doctor [Bashar al-Assad] who can treat the illness Syria is suffering from and can find the right treatment for this disease. This cooperation between Syrians is meant to build the country after over 85 countries around the world have tried to destroy it. This cooperation between Syrians today is meant to build what terrorism has destroyed”.
June, 3, 2014
Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri casts his vote at a polling station in the Sheraton hotel in central Damascus. Nouri held a press conference in the same location after casting his vote.
“Today in Syria we have started a new era, the era of true victory over terrorism and this global war [inflicted on Syria]. Syria has won with the will of its people and the great Syrian Army. I, as a presidential candidate of the Syrian Republic, have voted for myself of course. I declare that if it was not for the strength of the great people of Syria, we would not have got to this day. We stand here among all of you voting for the new president of this country, among the will of Syrians and the strength of Syrians and thank you”.
Question: What are you chances of wining given the popularity of Bashar al-Assad?
“President Assad is very popular, but he is also facing strong competitors”.
Question: What do you promise Syrians if you become president?
“If I become president, I promise Syrians that I will walk the path of national dialogue and a peaceful Syrian to Syrian dialogue. [I promise] to fight terrorism in order to achieve peace and security in this country and to commence the project of national economic and social reform that we desperately need”.
Question: In case you do not win in the election, how will you serve your country?
“If I do not reach the position of president, I will remain a good citizen who does his best to serve his country. I believe that I have recorded my name in the political field of Syria and I am certain that we will all play a great role in building Syria and accomplishing total victory”.
Question: How do you feel about the election process so far?
“So far the whole operation is democratic and we are optimistic that we will see a strong victory. This enormous march of people is something that I was not expecting. This march is expected to continue into the night and we might need to extend [the election] for another day”.
Tripoli est régulièrement frappée par des affrontements armés entre deux quartiers. D'un côté Bab el Tabbeneh à majorité sunnite et pro-opposition syrienne. De l'autre, Jabal Mohsen, à majorité alaouite et pro-régime.
Mais les racines du problème remontent à la guerre civile libanaise