Tags / Syrian Government
Interview with then Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Abdullah Abdel Razzaq Al Dardari, in Damascus, Syria, in 2007. He later resigned, as all the cabinet, on March 29, 2011 in the wake of the Syrian uprising and later civil war in Syria.
10 year old Ammar suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that develops in infants and young children. Ammar lives with his family in the opposition-held area of Douma, in Eastern Ghouta. The residents of Eastern Ghouta have been surviving under extremely hard living conditions due to the ongoing siege imposed by the Assad regime's forces over the past two years.
In Dar al-Rahma, the only active cancer center operating in Eastern Ghouta, Dr. Wissam says that Ammar suffered sever emotional trauma, which was the primary cause of his neuroblastoma.
Ammar’s mother remembers when, nearly 3 years ago, heavy clashes and shelling erupted in the neighborhood where they reside. The clashes lasted for three hours and severely terrified Ammar. Since then the boy had suffered from fever and continuous sickness.
Dr. Wissam also stressed that with very little resources, Dar al-Rahma center is currently treating about 600 patients suffering from different types of cancer with an 11% death-rate.
Unfortunately, Transterra Media received a message on the night of Saturday, June 13, 2015 announcing the death of Ammar.
- (02:27) Um Ammar, Ammar’s mother (woman, Arabic):
Ammar was sitting at the balcony when shelling and clashes erupted, he was extremely terrified, since then he suffered from continuous fever and sickness. We took him to the doctor who examined him and found out that he has neuroblastoma. It’s a rare disease that infects one out of every 10,00 children, and the reason is emotional trauma. (02:50)
(02:51) Given that the area is besieged, how are you receiving Ammar’s medications? (02:58)
(02:58) The doctor gets part of them, but we were responsible to get the rest. There are also some medical tests that the doctor asks us to do, but we cannot send it for analysis in Damascus. This is an additional reason why his situation is relapsing, not being able to deliver the medical tests to Damascus. This made his recovery take more time. This led [Ammar] to loose his sight. We are hoping, but we don’t think he could get any better now (03:38).
(03:40) Under the siege, should Ammar follow a specific diet program? (03:45).
(03:46) The doctor says that half of the treatment is done through his diet program. Alhamdulillah we are doing all what we can. We cannot do anything more. Yes, he should follow a specific diet program, unlike other children (04:02).
- Doctor Wissam, Doctor specialized in cancer diseases (woman, Arabic):
(04:24) At first, Ammar was diagnosed after he was suffered from a shock. He suffered from continuous sweating and fever, and he was later diagnosed with neuroblastoma. He started with this treatment and then had to stop it at the (name of the previous hospital) where he had already started the treatment, and came to continue the treatment here. When he got here, he was already in the recovery stage, but unfortunately, within two months, his situation relapsed dramatically due to a psychological trauma. We had to start a new treatment phase. One of the reasons why his treatment was delayed was the lack of the MRI Scanners. In addition of the lack of the medications, either because a delay in the supply or because of the hard situation to get the medications in Ghouta, we are trying at the moment to stay in contact with international organizations such as the Red Crescent or other organizations responsible for swelling diseases, perhaps Ammar has any chance [by getting the medications inside Ghouta]. (05:32).
(05:33) What are the efforts that this medical centre is doing under the siege? (05:40).
(05:41) At the moment we have more than 600 persons who are documented of having swelling diseases that are under treatment, and a percentage of 30% of recovery, and 10.5% of deaths. We are trying to give them the medications as much as possible, but we are facing some difficulties in doing so. The besiege and the diet factor are playing a negative role in the process, because it is known that the cancer patient needs a specific food diet program so that his body can bear the medications he is receiving. In addition of course to the negative psychological factor (06:22).
- Heba, Nurse (woman, Arabic):
(08:16) Here’s a breast eradication with part of the other breast and some parts of the armpit.. we take samples of the armpit and sample of the breast to check how bad is the infection, we record it and we send it for the lab analysis.
- Abu Khaled, Managing Director of Dar al-Rahma center (man, Arabic):
(08:29) Sometimes the patient comes and take the dose of the medications to make the swelling smaller. We are sometimes in need of a surgery, but unfortunately, most of the medical centers that do these surgeries stopped their operations. The reason is because their efforts are put only for the injured people. This reason sometimes plays a negative role in the recovery of the patients, because the patients who are not getting this surgery have their situation relapsed.
The bodies of killed Yarmouk Camp residents, which have been discovered under the rubble, had to be buried in a playground because the main cemetery was plowed by air bombing.
Syrian government forces bombed the camp with explosive barrels at the same time as heavy clashes pitted ISIS fighters against various Palestinian and Syrian militias.
Eastern Ghouta, Syria
The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus has been under a strict siege for more than two years. Government forces have banned almost every food item from entering the area.
This video shows local residents’ suffering in trying to provide their daily food.
People complain that bread has become unaffordable. To make sandwiches, they have to replace this staple food with other substances such as leafy vegetables or an apricot confection known as qamareddine, which is available for less than half the price of bread.
1. M/S of street and men walking
2. C/S of vegetables and food
3. M/S of vegetables and food
4. C/S of bread with price (650 Syrian pounds per Kg)
5. M/S of child eating
6. M/S of child walking
7. C/S of men paying/purchasing
8. C/S of man cutting and weighing qamareddine (apricot confection)
9. C/S of child eating
10. Various of people packing and delivering qamareddine
11. W/S of streets
12. Various of people selling vegetables
13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmad
(07:22) The price of bread is high now, around 650 or 700 Syrian pounds [per kilogram], so people decided to buy more vegetables. No one can afford the high prices now. People cannot even find work for 100 pounds, so they cannot pay 700 pounds for bread.
People are forced to go groves to pick mallows, chard and spinach to wrap olives with them for dinner – this is the the food that we can have.
Some people just boil spinach, add some oil to it and eat it without any eggs or meat.
This is all due to the siege the regime is imposing on us. God damn this regime, which is unjust to more than a million people in Eastern Ghouta. People are starving to death. Let have some mercy on us, God damn them! What can I say?
We are buying this [pack of apricot confection] for 200 Syrian pounds. We are wrapping cheese sandwiches for our kids with this.
We demand the nations who have a humanity and ethics to have compassion for kids and women, who are begging – when did our women and children ever beg? This is [our] reality life here, what else can I say (08:59).
14 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Mahrous
(09:00) Due to siege the regime is imposing on us, people tend to buy more vegetables now. We used to get rice, lentils and bulgar wheat from the camp, but their prices increased. For example, bulgar wheat is now 1,200 pounds [per kilogram] – bread costs around 700 pounds a kilogram. People are forced to buy chards and qamareddine. Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides and followers think they can besiege Ghouta, but God willing, we will remain strong, Ghouta is the land of wealth. We have enough lands to grow the food we need needs, and God will abandon us. After patience comes ease. God willing, we shall be victorious (10:09).
15 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Adnan Al Yafi
(10:10) People tend to buy more vegetables because one kilogram of bulgar costs 1700 pounds, and the same goes lentils and rice. The prices of basic supplies ingredients we use in our dishes went up and – what is worse – some of them are no longer available due to the siege. Could you imagine the price of the bread is more than 700 pounds [per kilogram], if you were lucky to find bread. But, thanks be to God, we are fine, even if we are using cabbage or chards instead of bread to make sandwiches and we are growing our own plants now to fulfill our daily needs. We have been besieged for three years now and nobody cares about us. But, thanks be to God, we are doing fine, despite the siege and the inflation we are facing. We hope for better days to come. Imagine that the cabbage and other vegetable leaves are primary ingredients for our dishes now to survive (11:50).
16 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboud Al Arbini
(11:51): Two months ago, the roads were open blocked and it was much easier to deliver of all the products, so their prices were lower than now; sugar, rice, and everything else was cheaper than it is now. Now, as roads are blocked roads, the delivery of these products is harder, so their prices have gone up. Sugar now costs 2500 to 2800 pounds per kilogram, and a kilogram of rice costs 3,000 pounds 2,800 or 2,500 – it is sold for different prices. Now people are eating more qamareddine since it contains sugar, which the body requires. Other than qamareddine, people are eating vegetables such as chards because they are available in Ghouta. People have been unemployed for more than three years, so they need something cheap to eat. Chards or qamareddine are cheap and available in Ghouta (12:56).
(12:57) Flour used to cost 2,500 per kilogram, wheat cost 1000 pounds per kilogram and barley 700 pounds. With priuce hikes, people decided to buy qamareddine since it is cheaper. They are using qamareddine, chard or cabbage instead of bread to make sandwiches. Thanks be to God, we are able to grow these in Ghouta. God is merciful (13:43).
17 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Mohammad al-Qadi
(13:44) Due to the siege that is imposed on us and lack of basic ingredients to make bread, like flour, the price of bread has gone up to 700 pounds [per kilogram]. Who could afford it now? We have been under siege for three years now, unemployed, so we cannot afford to buy expensive food for our families. Most of the people tend to buy more vegetables since we can grow them in Ghouta, despite the siege and the price hike. God is granting us life, not Bashar al-Assad.
November 25, 2014
At least 95 people were killed and 120 injured on Tuesday in a series of airstrikes believed to be carried out by Syrian government forces against civilian neighborhoods in Raqqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The airstrikes caused large scale devastation in residential buildings and public squares. A mosque and the local museum were also damaged in the bombing.
Raqqa is the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.
An international coalition led by the United States has launched a bombing campaign against ISIS positions since September.
Eyewitnesses, however, believe that these airstrikes were carried out by the Syrian government’s air force.
The Syrian regime has repeatedly targeted the city with airstrikes since it lost control over it in March 2013
June 17, 2014
Syria's health care system is facing a crisis as hospitals have come under attack and medical supplies have not been replenished because of international sanctions. This video visits a hospital in Damascus and interviews healthcare authorities on the growing crisis.
Interview 1: Dr. Saed Alnayef – Minister of Health in Syria
"The source of this bad situation is not limited to actions of terrorists who directly targeted medical institutions and services, but also includes their targeting and destruction of other service sectors such as water and electricity. This has affected both the medical and the environmental situation in the country. There is the economic siege which has affected the importing of medicine and medical equipment. This poses a great challenge for us. We were able to make use of all our potential resources in terms of medicine, equipment, and medical staff. This way we were able to make up for the shortages, and provide decent medical care for Syrian citizens. However, this targeted destruction [by armed groups] affected 67 hospitals, while more than 38 hospitals completely went out of business. Also, 400 cars were destroyed and more than 20 medicine factories."
Interview 2: Dr. Abd al-Karim – Emergency Room Doctor.
"The public's perception of the hospital in Damascus is that its one of the largest hospitals in Damascus. Recently, the hospital suffered a lot due to the constant increase in volume of people visiting the hospital for consults, which sometimes exceeds 500 to 1000 patients. The patients come not only from Damascus and its suburbs, but also from other Syrian cities due to lack of medical care there. We suffered in this hospital and we are still suffering from the scarcity of some medical products that we used to import from other countries. This is due to the economic siege on the Syrian government. Other than that, there is malfunctioning equipment that we struggled to fix because they were imported from other countries who have boycotted Syria. So to provide the required medical care at the hospital, we had to find other local ways to fix the equipment or use other equipment and find alternatives."
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 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
Residents and religious leaders in the government controlled city of Sweida vote and celebrate at a polling station during the Syrian presidential election. Included are interviews with two election workers in two different polling stations, and with the Sheikh al-Akl, the spiritual leader of Druze sect in Syria.
Adnan Janoud, Head of the First Polling Station in Sweida province:
"At 6:30 in the early morning we started. We had the presence of the judiciary committee who opened the boxes and make sure there were no papers inside. They then sealed them again with the committee, the agents, and the journalists as witnesses. The vote then started after we set the right atmosphere for the voters to feel free to enter the secret room [voting booth]. Throughout the huge turn out, we were able to organize the voting process comfortably and smoothly. Large numbers of people showed up to vote and we had to remember that they came here during the difficult times Syria is suffering from. Voters came here, not only to vote for a president, but to vote for [their opinion on] the situation and for the resistance in this area, and [their will] to stand in the face of all the forces cooperating against Syria, be they foreign or Arab. We faced no obstacles during the voting process”.
Najat al-Shaar, Head of Second Polling Station in Sweida:
"We consider this a national celebration, a complete national celebration. We will definitely win with such a resilient people, resilient army, and resilient leader. I would like to thank these people for their excitement and love for their country and their love for the Syrian army”.
Interviewer: Are you facing any difficulties?
“There are no difficulties, only the joy and excitement that you can see. There is no difficulty, we will win with help of God, thank you”.
“Today is a democratic celebration, it is a celebration for Syrians. It is our victory and pride, our national duty, and it is about facing everyone. I came here to vote for the President, Dr. Bashar al-Assad, our candidate, and our pride and protector”.
“Today represents the love between Syrians and we would like to salute our leader Dr. Bashar al-Assad. Today is a national celebration that indicates Syrians love for each other and their unity”.
“Today is the day of victory, and it is the day of the presidential election. It is the day Syria enters the modern stage with the leadership of Bashar al-Assad. Today we will be together along with Bashar al-Assad--Bashar the protector, Bashar the victor--and along with the Syrian Arab army to conquer the invaders and kick out the terrorists”.
Interviewer: Your Eminence, what does this day mean to you?
Sheikh al-Akl, Spiritual Leader of the Druze Sect in Syria:
“It is a national celebration to prove to the world that Syria is able to manage itself and take care of its own business. Syrians are the ones to decide the fate of Syria and the process of voting for the President is evidence to our victory. This victory comes in time with the victory of the Syrian Arab Army on the ground. We proved to everyone that our choice is a peaceful solution and national dialogue. It is a message to be sent that the crisis in Syria cannot be solved without the approval of Syrians or with violence and destruction”.
Location: Homs, Syria
Slug: Normal life in neighborhoods controlled by Syrian regime, Humanitarian aid being distributed to pro-government families, rebels-held devastated areas
Duration: 05’ 32”
Source: TransTerra media
Restrictions: TransTerra Media clients
- Wide of Syrian Arab Red Crescent centre in a pro-government area in Homs, UN and SARC vehicles parked there
- Med of UNHCR and SARC vehicles parked outside the centre
- Two med shots of food materials being delivered to resident of Ikrima neighborhood in Homs
- Med of sunflower oil box at a SARC centre while distributing food to the resident, reading on the box in arabic: World Food Program
- Med of SARC storehouse full of boxes and rice bags and two workers are carrying them out
- Close of a box reading in both Arabic and English: World Food Program; sunflower oil; fortified with vitamins A&D
- Wide of people looking for their names in lists pasted on the wall of SARC center
- Pan from lists of names of the families to people enqueued at a window of SARC centre
- Wide of people inline at the door of SARC centre
- Med of children standing beside their families inline at SARC centre
- Pan from a sign reading: Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Branch of Homs, Ikrima point to people in queue at the door of the center
- Med of a woman searching a list on a wall for her name
- Pan of blankets and boxes of aid inside a SARC storeroom
- Pan of a worker at SARC center coming out a storeroom carrying a box and handing to an elderly man
- Med of WFP members talking in SARC center
- Med of SARC members inside the center
- Med of SARC members checking documents at a SARC center
- street of Ikrima neighborhood in one of the government-held areas in Homs
- Med of people walking along pavement in Ikrima
- Two shots of streets in government-held Homs
- (FOX POPS)(arabic) man on the street, no name given
“ As you can see, things are so good here, people are shopping, look at the sandwiches shops, and all shops are functioning well, thank God, and all are happy. But remains the shells that are falling. It costs us a lot of martyrs, and cause a lot of material damages. It’s all coming from down there.”
- Med of people walking along pavement while other are stopping at shops
- (FOX POPS)(arabic) man on the street, no name given
“ We are in Ikrima neighborhood, the Pyramids str. Thank God; things are fine, excellent. All people are in their shops as you can see; all are working. Rockets and shells are the only thing that is frightening people. In a moment you can see people in the street, and all of a sudden all disappear, they run to their houses and do not get back to their normal life in a couple of days.”
- wide of a street in al-Nazha government-held neighborhood
- (FOX POPS)(arabic) man on the street, no name given
“ We are now in al-Nazha neighborhood, we are living a very normal life, all materials are available and there no problems, but sometimes we get worry of the shells that fell. But life, services and living is so fine and all is available here”
- Med of pavement and people walking
- GV of Old Homs square, filmed from a high building in the government-controlled area
- GV of a rebel-held area in the old city of Homs, showing Notre Dame de Paix church
- GV of Khldiyyeh neighborhood, Khaled Ibn al-Walid mosque can be seen (one of the most famous and ancient mosques in Homs)
- Closer shot of Khled Ibn al-Walid mosque in Homs
- Various wide shots of destroyed previously rebels-held neighborhoods in the old city, devastated building can be seen
Interview with a father standing in the rubble where he lost three children in the explosion that destroyed his home on February 1, 2014. Residents and monitoring groups describe the event as a barrel bomb attack carried out by the Syrian Military.
We are the children of this country, this is our destiny, because we are Muslims. Do you kill us in our homes because we are Muslims? Is this something you would want to see? Is this what Islam looks like to you? (...) We are Muslims because Abu Bakr is our master! They're killing us! They're making us pay! Assad be damned! Damn him my children are gone! I am 55 years old, I will keep fighting and resisting, and I will sacrifice my own blood for this soil and this land! This is our soil, these are our houses! He killed us! He killed our children! This is our country! You blame the Iranian and the Shiite and the Devil's party! We don't come from Europe? At least we don't belong to an organization.. Al-Qaeda. We are Muslims, children of this country! We have human rights!
- Question: What happened here?
Barrel bomb attack.. This is my house.. My three children are gone! This is my house.. We buried the three.. This is my house here, this is the barrel bomb shelling, this is al-Assad. We have a human right to life. Where are human rights in Europe? An animal has a right to life.
- It is said that he is killing terrorists..
We are not terrorists, we are civilians.. we are civilians living in our houses, we are not terrorists, nor terrorist organizations, we are civilians. There's nothing left for us, we don't have work, no water, no electricity, no money, we have nothing left! He's shelling us with barrel bombs. God snap his neck!
- What kind of attack was it?
Shelling, barrel bombs, by helicopters, by barrel exlosives! My three children were killed here!
- How many were killed?
Three! My 3 children are gone! We pulled their pieces from under the rubble!
- What would you like to say to the international community?
To the international community, to the United Nations.. We are humans, we are the children of this country.. We have the right to live, we are Muslims and we are going to defend our religion, our prophet Mohammad, Abu Bakr, and Ali. We will defend them with our own blood.
Another man: You think they can't see us? It's been 3 years.
They don't see us. They're doing this because we are Muslims.
مقابلة مع (أبو عماد) بعدما تدمر منزله نتيجة القصف، وفقد 3 من أولاده بسبب القصف بتاريخ ٢٦-٠١-٢٠١٤
Story Title: Regime Forces open Harasta gates in Beseiged Eastern Ghouta for Two Hours
Date: March 6, 2014
Location: Harasta, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus
Storyline: Regime forces deliberatly opened a gate in Harasta, the besieged eastern Gouta, in northern Damascus, for two hours, and took out the civilians that were trapped under the seige. The gate was then closed, allowing the flooding of a hundred and fifty thousand civilians from neighboring towns, hoping to escape the beseiged area. The roads and the gardens were overflowing with helpless civilians. They chose not to appear in the interviews, fearing that they will get arrested and never get the chance to cross over.
Abou Mahmoud Fahr – Major General “Fath Al Sham”
2:00 – 3:17 “The regime soldiers never opened a gate anywhere, not in Harasta nor in the camps nor in Mleiha. The gates that were opened almost a year ago are now are all closed. They opened the gate for two hours, took advantage of the situation, shot at the civilians, injured a couple. Others were put at gunpoint and were forced to cheer for the regime and Bashar Al Assad. Around a hundred and fifty thousand people have been stranded on the streets since last night, children, women, elderlies, and none were allowed to pass through. We threatened and told them the civilians are a 3rd party, and are not involved between us and the spoilt regime. The war is between us, and not the civilians. We need to make sure of their safety, and guarantee a shelter for them in a refugee camp, allow them to access schools”
Soldier in the FSA
3:18 – 3: 54 They opened the road for us, two days ago, for two hours only. They opened them only to take photographs. They got their cameras ready, put up their flags and images of Bashar Al Assad. They said they will not let us through until we cheer on Bashar Al Assad. They put the children and the women in the women and forced them to do so. They opened the gates for two hours just to show the world that they are evacuating the people of Al Gouta. Look, the whole Gouta population is in Harasta now. Harasta is filled with people, who were sleeping on the streets the night before. Young children were sleeping on the streets and the destroyed buildings.
Abou Haitham – Leader in “Fath Al Sham”
3:55 – 4:12 We received classified information that Bashar Al Assad forces are increasing security in all of Damascus and are planning on capturing civilians exiting Eastern Gouta. We are a hundred percent sure of this information. It is from a trusted source.
Various shots of: Civilian women and children overcrowding the streets
Various shots of: The FSA army trying to protect and secure the civilians
Various shots of: Cars carrying the civilians
Various shots of: Large crowd of civilians