Shabiha

The Boy who started the Syrian War

We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.

10 Feb 2017 12:29 GMTWar & Conflict, Syria’s Civil War

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed for ever.

The Boy who started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

FILMMAKER’S VIEW

by Emmy Award-winning producer, Jamie Doran

I was in Moscow recently, chatting to people you might have thought would have known better. Educated folk, among them an experienced journalist. I had asked them a simple question: how did the Syrian war begin?

They uniformly launched into the answer that has been peddled so often in recent times, that it has now become fact in certain circles: “It was the terrorists who started it all.”

The fact that ISIL in its current form didn’t even exist in Syria at the time, or that al-Nusra wouldn’t arrive until many months afterwards, appear to have been conveniently forgotten – not just in Moscow but in most media coverage around the world.

The surprise, even shock on their faces when I pulled out my laptop and showed them the trailer for our latest film for Al Jazeera, The Boy Who Started the Syrian War, was a wonder to behold. They simply had no idea.

They claimed they hadn’t been aware of how, for decades, dissenters towards government authority had faced the daily dread of a visit from the secret police, of torture, disappearance and extrajudicial execution.

They had apparently never heard about how fathers were frightened to allow their daughters to be alone on the streets for fear of abduction, rape and murder at the hands of the Shabiha, Assad-family militias that operated with virtual impunity.

And they were totally unaware that it was a mischievous prank by adolescent schoolchildren that lit the fuse that set a country ablaze.

Early in 2016, I was sitting in Books@Cafe, a hangout for liberally minded Jordanians on Al-Khattab Street, Amman, with cameraman and filmmaker Abo Bakr Al Haj Ali. He was busily puffing away on his narghile (hookah), as we discussed how Deraa, the city which had given birth to the revolution, had been virtually ignored by the media in recent years.

One of the reasons it had been overlooked was that the Jordanians wouldn’t let any Western journalists cross from their side. Almost the only other option was an official tour of government-controlled areas via Damascus that didn’t appeal to me at all, even if they had let me in, which was rather unlikely.

I’d spent the previous week sitting on the border, just an hour’s drive from Deraa, having established an agreement with the Jordanian military which would have made me the first Westerner allowed to cross over in three years.

READ MORE: Syria’s Civil War Explained

There I was, in the border compound about to leave Jordanian soil, when a call came to the post. Moments later, I was very politely placed in a saloon car … and driven back to Amman. I later found out that the representative of the British intelligence agency, MI6, in Amman had advised the Jordanian government that it would be a bad idea to let me cross … even though I was travelling on an Irish passport!

So, back at Books@Cafe, Bakr and I sat chatting about how we could make a film about Deraa without my physical presence. It’s his home town. His territory.

“So, who do you know, who was there at the very beginning?” I asked.

“I know the commander, Marouf Abood, who set up the very first people’s militia, after government troops attacked his village,” he responded.

“Interesting. And who else?”

He went on to reel off half a dozen names; commander this, commander that.

“Come on, Bakr. You must know someone else, someone different. Someone fresh,” I said.

Continuing to drag deeply on the narghile, deep in thought, he told me that there was no one else that was really very interesting.

And then he added: “Well, I suppose there’s the boy who scrawled the anti-Assad graffiti on his school wall that started the war.”

It was one of those moments where you could have knocked my 90 kilos over with a feather.

The boy who started the Syrian war! Think about it. It wasn’t ISIL, nor al-Nusra, nor any other terrorist group. It was an act of defiance, a moment of youthful rebelliousness, if you like, that led to an uprising which has seen more than half a million people killed and a country torn to shreds.

It wasn’t, of course, the fault of this 14-year-old boy and his three friends who joined him in this moment of adolescent disobedience – a prank which would have enormous consequences beyond their understanding. But when they were arrested by the police and tortured in a most horrendous way, a line was crossed from which there would be no turning back.

When their parents and families arrived at the police station to plead for their freedom, they were told: “Forget these children. Go home to your wives and make some more. If you can’t manage, send us your wives and we’ll do it for you.”

Anger rose. The fuse had been lit and, when police started randomly killing marchers in the demonstrations that followed, armed resistance became an inevitability.

READ MORE: The Syrian conflict does not end here

For me personally, this film has taken on an importance beyond many that I have made in the past. To be able to remind (and, in some cases, inform) a massive global audience of the true origins of the Syrian civil war, is an enormous privilege for a filmmaker.

For those directly involved in those origins, however, our film has provided an opportunity for reflection. So many have suffered greatly and sacrificed so much for a revolution which, by any calculation, is and will remain incomplete, no matter what the outcome of negotiations.

Mouawiya Syasneh, The boy who started the Syrian War, is now a young man who, like so many other young men in Deraa, carries a Kalashnikov rather than a satchel these days. As viewers will discover, his own family has paid a dreadful price for the events that followed his actions back in February 2011.

His own reflections are now a matter of record for the first time.

Article from: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2017/02/boy-started-syrian-war-170208093451538.html

Video from Al Jazeera English:

Published on Feb 10, 2017

SPECIAL SERIESSYRIA’S CIVIL WAR
The Boy Who Started the Syrian War
We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.
09 Feb 2017 10:22 GMT Syria’s Civil War, War & Conflict

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed forever.

The Boy Who Started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

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A History of Syria – Documentary


Published on Sep 11, 2015

Dan Snow travels to Syria to see how the country’s fascinating and tumultuous history is shaping the current civil war. For thousands of years empires and despots have fought for control of the strategically vital region, leaving behind stunning temples, castles and mosques, as well as a diverse cultural heritage. Those conflicts – from the Roman conquests to the crusades, from the French colonial invasion to the military coups of the 1960s – loom large in today’s conflict. For those confused by the seemingly random nature of the bloodshed and slaughter, Dan Snow unpicks the historic divisions between Sunnis and Alawites, Islamists and secularists, east and west.

The massacre of Douma by Assad regime on Aug 16-2015 part VI

A picture say a thousand words! Syria Bashar al-Assad and his regime disregard human lifes!

UN urged to demand halt to Syria air strikes. More than 70 nations sign letter to UN General Assembly to demand end to deadly attacks, especially use of barrel bombs.

Douma massacre disregard human life by Assad regime

Syria douma market bombed by Assad regime

Assad Missles hit Douma market place

Douma extermination by assad

Bomb Douma market palce by assad

Assad mass murdered civilian in Douma Syria

Douma deadliest attack by Assad regime

Save Douma extermination from assad

Save Douma Save syria from assad airstrike

Douma market targeted by Assad regime air forces

Systematic Torture and Rape in Assad Regime Prisons

05-03-2015: ‘A former female detainee of a brutal security branch in Syria has told Zaman al-Wasl of her experience of torture and the systematic rape of activists inside the prison.

Photos below shown is not Om Ahmed. The Assad regime security forces cut off a woman’s hair for fun to humiliate and degrade her. Unfortunately, these kind of atrocities happen everyday in Syria.

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Om Ahmed’s husband was killed in the battles of Southern Damascus, where she stayed to support the fighters who looked after her and treated her as a sister.

On her way home from a visit to her brother in Kiswa, she was arrested by regime security forces and moved to al-Khatib Detention Center, a facility of the Interior Security Department.

Imprisoned for three months, Om Ahmed underwent haunting traumas. “They regularly burned women’s bodies with hot poles while hanging them from their hands for hours,” Om Ahmed said.

The former detainee was subjected to torture, as security members wanted information about the rebels’ details and locations. “They used to drop cold water on my head and body, then hit me. I was hanged from my hands many times on the “Ghost”, where they tried to humiliate me. However the torture I received was not comparable to what other women faced”.

“An officer broke my finger by closing the door on it. All I can remember is that they called him Ali, but I cannot remember his face – as we were not allowed to look at officers’ faces”, she painfully detailed. Om Ahmed mentioned that security members tended to rape virgins, while other girls were often raped by groups of men.

Om Ahmed reported that a 19-year-old girl from Southern Damascus suffered from heavy bleeding because of the frequent rape she was subjected to. “Doctors visited the prison in cases of bleeding after rape. I met doctors, one was a good man as he transferred girls to hospitals, while another was tough and cruel, swearing at girls and women”, Om Ahmed recalled.

The former prisoner reported that one woman fell pregnant inside the prison, only to be taken away following the discovery. Her fate is still unknown. Om Ahmed confirmed that girls as young as 10 were in the prison, also subjected to similar torture. The woman claimed that security members used to cooperate with shabeeha, providing them imprisoned girls for money.

Om Ahmed was later transferred to Sasaa’s prison where she stayed for 20 days, tortured and humiliated. “Security members described us as ‘traitors’, where their military boots had more honor than us,” she said.’

Surviving Assad’s Female Torture Prisons
http://www.syrianobserver.com/EN/News/28755/Surviving_Assad_Female_Torture_Prisons

Whole Family was Executed by Syria Assad Regime Shahiba

The Houla Massacre – More photos, more evidence from Syria. 3 years anniversary on May 25, 2015, the killers are still free to continue to kill…

syria houla massacre children

syria houla executed whole family

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Al-Houla Massacre by Assad regime Shabiha

Lone Survivor of her Family from Houla Masssacre

50 family members of Noura were all murdered in front of her eyes by Assad regime’s Shabiha.

The Houla massacre (Arabic: مجزرة الحولة‎) was an attack that took place on May 25,2012, in the midst of the Syrian civil war, in the town of Taldou, in the Houla Regionof Syria, a string of towns northwest of Homs. According to the United Nations,108 people were killed, including 34 women and 49 children. While a small proportion of the deaths appeared to have resulted from artillery and tank rounds used against Taldou, the U.N. later announced that most of the massacre’s victims had been “summarily executed in two separate incidents”. UN investigators have reported that some witnesses and survivors stated that the massacre was committed by pro-government Shabiha.

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syria assad al-houla massacre survivor

3 years anniversary of Houla Massacre

Today, mark the 3 years anniversary of Houla Massacre!

11-year-old Ali Alsayed witnessed and survived the Houla Massacre on May 25, 2012. He watched the army enter his house, arrest his brother and uncle, and kill his mother and siblings. The security forces thought he was dead as he lay among his dead family members. After they left, he fled his house and ran barefoot to his uncle’s house. The next day he discovered while watching Addounia TV (Syrian government channel) that his uncle and brother were killed. His uncle was forced to declare on television that armed gangs killed his children, not the security forces. Ali tells his heartbreaking story, and begs his listeners and the international community for help.

syria assad al houla homs massacre by Assad regime

syria assad houla massacre May 2012

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