Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tales of horror from Syrian refugees amidst Syria Devolution

Tales of horror from Syrian refugees: IRBID, Jordan -- Ahmed’s friends call him the living martyr. A total of 16 bullets pierced his body when Syrian security forces attacked protesters in the southern city of Deraa last year. The 24-year-old activist was smuggled to Jordan for treatment after troops raided Deraa hospital in pursuit of injured activists.Ahmed says his survival is a miracle after seeing parts of his guts burst out of his body as he was pummeled by a barrage of gunshots .The troops sprayed him and his friend with bullets “like they were giving away sweets,” he recalls now. Even from the safety of Jordan, where he is now a refugee, he asks not to be identified by his full name.

“They noticed we were standing near a demonstration and started shooting randomly. I was injured and my friend was hit, too,” he says, recalling the panic and fear among his friends as they saw him bathed in his own blood. “The army noticed I was alive because I used my phone to call for an ambulance, but they shot at me again.”He reveals to a visiting reporter scars across his back, legs, arms and abdomen. “They wanted to make sure I was dead,” the frail-looking young activist explains. His friends and colleagues were sure the army had succeeded. “Everybody was expecting me to die at any moment. They even had a funeral planned for when the official announcement of my death would come. I survived, and now my friends call me the living martyr.”

As Syrian opposition groups gather in Turkey and try to unify a Syrian Helicopter Pilot Defected and Escaped to Turkey. Also a senior intel officer was assassinated  and Turkey a neighbor and once close ally closes its embassy and joins the United States sending non lethal aid to the opposition.

Syrian Helicopter Pilot Defected and Escaped to Turkey : Earlier on Friday, Press reports said that a Syrian helicopter pilot who refused to obey orders to bomb the area of Azaz in Aleppo, targeted a Syrian security intelligence headquarter instead before fleeing to Turkey, according to Dubai-based broadcaster Al Arabiya which was quoting opposition sources. Press reports indicated “If confirmed, this would be the first incident of its kind in the one-year unrest.”

The Syrian opposition reported last night the death of the Air Force intelligence chief in Damascus. Several opposition sources claimed that Colonel Eyad Mandou, branch head of the Damascus air intelligence, was killed by elements of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Al-Ghuzlaniyah on the airport road. Colonel Mandou was accused of ordering the killing of demonstrators in Damascus area.

Syrian opposition groups gather in Turkey, try to unify voice: Disjointed factions of the Syrian opposition are meeting Monday in Istanbul in an effort to form a unified voice ahead of the next week's "Friends of Syria" conference.Observers of the Syrian crisis have bemoaned a lack of unity among the various Syrian opposition groups as they struggle to topple President Bashar al-Assad's rule.The goal of Monday's conference is "for all forces and parties of the opposition not to be a union, but at least to have a united purpose," said Amar Qurabi, leader of the National Change Current opposition group.

Annan due in China, Russia says Syria peace: Once a close ally of Assad, Turkey has denounced his efforts to crush the rebellion and has thrown its weight behind his opponents, announcing on Sunday that it would work with Washington to provide "non-lethal" aid to the Syrian opposition.

Kofi Annan, the joint envoy for the United Nations and Arab League, was due to fly to China later in the day as part of an effort to persuade all major powers to put pressure on Assad to accept the terms of his six-point peace plan. Annan met Russian leaders on Sunday and won assurances that Moscow was fully behind his initiative, which calls for Assad to back a ceasefire and let in humanitarian aid, but does not demand that he quit - something Western powers are pushing for.

Turkey closes its Syria embassy, boosts aid to opposition: The embassy closure by such a key regional player is likely to increase pressure on the Syrian government. Turkey also pledged, along with the US, to increase 'non-lethal aid' to Syrian rebels.

James Joiner

Gardner, Ma


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