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The Sunnis of Syria are grateful to Israel, but ready to take the IG. Says the medic from Daraa

During the Syrian military conflict, which has lasted since March 2011, has killed, according to various estimates, from 400 to 500 thousand people. On the eve of the war in Syria has lived for 21 million people. During the war, 45% of the population became refugees.

According to the organization Syrian Network for Human Rights, about half of those killed during the Syrian conflict were victims of the government troops, backed by Shiite militia on the ground, and since last autumn – and Russian aviation from the air.

On February 11 in Munich, Russia and the USA agreed on a Declaration of ceasefire in Syria, but the armistice does not extend to actions against groups recognized as terrorist. Moscow believes the terrorists «Islamic state» and «Dzhabhat EN-Nusra», but a number of other groups included in the opposition coalition. «Free Syrian army» (FSA) uniting the armed forces of the moderate opposition, said that he doubted the sincerity of Russia. Included in the opposition forces Islamist groups said they would not stop fighting until government forces continue to bombard them.

According to one of residents of Daraa province, which was able to speak to, despite the declared ceasefire, Russian aviation continued bombing towns under opposition control.

Our interlocutor knew that talking to an Israeli journalist. At the request of the Syrian and security reasons we do not publish his name, locality and the name of the hospital, as well as recusaram in the pictures his face.

25-year-old Hamza R. lives in the city North of Daraa, South of Syria near the border with Jordan. The city of Daraa, the capital of the province, at the end of January, with the support of Russian aviation, was captured by forces of the Lebanese Hizbullah. Prior to the conflict the population of his native city Hamza was about 40 thousand persons, however in recent years it has halved.

Before the war, Hamza studied at the medical faculty of the University of Damascus. At the beginning of the conflict the young man returned home and went to work as a nurse in local hospital. Hamza’s father is a teacher of English. The mother is a housewife. Hamza eldest in the family that has seven children – three brothers and four sisters. Younger children 5 and 7 years. In Daraa province is predominantly Sunni population, and it is one of the main strongholds of the Syrian opposition.

About two years ago at the house of the family of our interviewee were dropped two barrel bombs. As a result of the bombing, the younger brother Hamza was shattered leg bone, and the whole family except the eldest son, fled to the Jordanian refugee camp of Zaatari. About six months ago, the family of Hamza returned to Syria, but the father of the family had to stay in Jordan and work off the debt for her son’s treatment at a local hospital, where one day of hospitalization is worth a thousand dinars. Family companion, like many other Syrians, returned home before the intervention of Russia in the Syrian conflict, when Assad’s forces retreated, the intensity of airstrikes has declined and people preferred to risk life at home than to live in a refugee camp in Jordan, where per person, according to the World Food Program, accounted for less than 1 dollar a day for food.

Since then, Jordan has closed its border to refugees. Now that the province of Daraa Aidarov exposed to dozens per day, according to Hamza, the majority of returnees regret their decision.

Hamza himself says that he is not going to run, and not just because the crossing «closed» borders need a lot of money, which he does not, but also because not ready to leave his job at the hospital. «The Muslims decided to kill enemies and to protect themselves and their families,» says our interlocutor.

The hospital, which employs Hamza, is a three-storey building, which is regularly subjected to bombardments. Over the last six months, according to Hamza, near the hospital fell 30 37 missiles and barrel bombs. As a result of one of the raids our interlocutor was wounded.

Most of the wounded received in the hospital, were civilians. Among the most common injuries – severe damage of the arteries, head trauma, shattered bones. The entire hospital staff – the local experts sometimes advise on Skype Western doctors. International organizations periodically send to the hospital drugs and equipment, however, medication is not enough, and most critically wounded people need to be sent to Jordan or to Israel.

According to Hamza, Jordan for treatment take the money, and treated much worse than in Israeli hospitals. Our interlocutor said that Israel had earlier accepted from his hospital 3-4 patient per week, and Jordan could take sometimes up to 25 wounded in a day, but about 7 months ago, Israel stopped to take the wounded and now only accepts critically ill patients – mainly children with leukaemia and other cancer patients.

Editorial asked for comments in the press service of the IDF, where we stated that Israel continues to receive wounded from Syria. Thus a press-service of the IDF explained that he could not clarify from what point do the Syrian wounded. The press services of the hospital «Ziv» in Safed and the Western Galilee hospital in Nahariya also told our correspondent that it continues to receive Syrian injured. We have not official sources to obtain confirmation and a refutation of the information that Israel no longer accepts the wounded from Daraa province.

According to the source, which coincide with the opinion of Israeli analysts and Western intelligence agencies, the bombing in Daraa province by the Russian aviation. Hamza claims that the last 4 months its only city is being bombed by Russian planes, which, unlike the Syrian aircraft that can do air strikes in any weather. Hamza said that the purpose of the raids was not only the positions of the free Syrian army and Islamists, but also «a hospital, a bakery, a pharmacy, a house».

In the interview with our correspondent Hamza said that during the Syrian conflict in his city dramatically changed their attitude to Israel. Before the war Syrians considered an enemy of Israel, which has occupied the Syrian Golan heights, but now less people of Daraa belong to the Israelis as enemies. Hamza, repeatedly sent the wounded to Israeli hospitals, was surprised to note that in Israel, according to those who have returned to Syria of patients, the attitude towards the Syrians is better than in Jordan. In addition, the most ardent enemies of Israel in Syria – Assad and Hezbollah – have been enemies of local Sunnis, which, according to Hamza, caused him to change his attitude toward the Jewish state.

All residents of Hamza – Sunni Muslims. The city largely controls the «Syrian free army», but in it there are the militant Islamist groups of «Ahrar al-sham» and «Dzhabhat EN-Nusra». Members of the same family – two brothers or father and son can be in different groups or the FSA, says Hamza. Between different groups regularly have conflicts, but the main enemy for them is the regime of Bashar al-Assad. City residents, including himself Hamza, are convinced that the government’s armed forces entered the Sunni town, «cut out all the children first, then women, then men.» On the background of hatred toward Assad and «Hezbollah» more and more residents of the city of Hamza imbued with the ideology of the «Islamic state».

On the question of how would Hamza, if he had to choose between Assad and the «Islamic state», our interlocutor gives a definite answer whether he would have chosen IG.

«I know people who fled from the atrocities of ISIS, I have seen these people and heard their stories, but many just don’t want to believe it. The fact that opposition forces recently only retreat, and Assad are all Sunnis hate and fear. Therefore, we are inclined to believe that ISIS is better than Assad. I know I should be afraid of them, but I only heard about what they are doing, and his eyes didn’t see. But I’ve seen what Assad is capable of,» says Hamza.

The material was prepared by Alla Gavrilova

The Sunnis of Syria are grateful to Israel, but ready to take the IG. Says the medic from Daraa 15.02.2016

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