How much does an armed attack cost? Why isn’t it frightening to kill? Revelations of the ex-fighter of «The Free Syrian Army» (SFA) in the interview to "Golos Rossii".
- What is your name, where are you from?
- My name is Yusef Naami, I was at war near Hama.
- How did it happen that you became a fighter of a Syrian irreconcilable opposition?
- Among young men I grew up with there was a sheikh Ayman Al-Khalid. He talked to us, said that we should work for advantage of the Motherland, for the sake of belief that an important mission is granted for us, it consists in fighting against the sinners who are in power and so on. Now I understand that it was a specific brainwash. So as a result of these conversations we had an idea that it is necessary to do something. To declare loudly our disagreement, to go to meeting, to tell all people that we don’t need such power , that the country should be rescued. We were sincerely thinking like that and we believed in that.
- how old are you?
- I’m 27
- You were at war, weren’t you?
- They didn’t mention weapon first. We’ve just visited meetings. Then we were told that they’ll give us weapon and our task is to be at war against governmental soldiers. They told that security forces kill our brothers and sisters with a permission of the authorities. Therefore we should pay back them the with the same. Now I retell it in one minute to you, but all this proceeded for a long time. Sheikh Ayman talked to us especially often. To tell the truth, he told not only about our duty to the country and the people. We were promised that we’ll make money at it and that they have money. Who’ll resist? So it turned out like this.
- Did they pay to you? Can you say how much did they pay?
- Sheikh Ayman acquainted us with some person who promised 2 thousand liras per person for every visit of meeting (slightly more than 30 dollars). Thus we should actively participate, shout slogans but not just stand in crowd. However, we didn't get 2000 liras. At most 500 (8 dollars). Sometimes they gave nothing at all and said that they’ll give afterwards. We didn’t like it. They promised one thing and did another. Then they said us that we’ll get real money and much more money if we will go to meetings with weapon and if we’ll fight to military and police. We agreed. We were brought to a training base where we were le
arned to handle the weapon. After preparation we began to participate in skirmishes with army. That isn’t all. We kidnapped supporters of a regime as we were said. It happened to kill too. There was some spirit in it. For all these we were promised from 5000 to 10000 liras (from 80 to 160 dollars). But in reality we got 1000 or 1500 liras or nothing at all.
- Yusef, you always say “we”. Where did you personally participate?
- Murders were before my own eyes. Often I and my friends watched, while others rushed into houses and killed people there. Once I raped the woman in one house like this. Now I’m ashamed of it. It is hard to remember. Then it seemed that I was beside myself. It was some fever. Now I think that it was because of drugs.
- Yes. It is already difficult to remember, when it began. First we drank tea with some strong grass for a kind of cheerfulness. Then tablets. We were given different tablets before actions to be calm, cheerful and fearless. Really, you’d go and shoot up all the world after taking this pills. Now I want to forget it.
- Why did you decide to give up.
- During one of operations my friend was caught. My phone number was in his mobile. After a while some person called me. I don’t remember what was his name. He said that he was from a Union of a Syrian young people and he just wanted to talk. He asked me questions like: “Why do you act like this? You are young and you are to build this country” and so forth. First I argued with him and disconnected. Though he continued calling and talked politely. Gradually I began to think about things he said.
Once we got in touch by phone and arranged a meeting not far from Hama. I went there alone and I was scared that someone will find it out. I met guys from Union of a Syrian young people there and Mahomed ad-Deri, a chairman. We talked for a long time, giving some questions or just talking. They told me that if I have friends among rebels, - I can help them. After that meeting I didn’t want to be a fighter any more. I came back to Hama and talked to some guys. We decided to leave together and to give up. I began to invent pretexts to miss operations. I told that I feel bad or that my mother is sick and I need to visit her. We tried to avoid armed attacks. After a while we managed to prepare and escape. We went to the Mkherbi area (near Hama). Guys from “Union” talked to us. Again they said that we were mistaken, but everything can be corrected.
We handed over the weapon. Mahomed ad-Deri has personally applied for everyone so that we were pardoned and were not subjected to court. He guaranteed our safety. The president told that everyone who didn't kill and didn't arrange acts of terrorism, will be pardoned in case of repentance and voluntary delivery of the weapon. We handed over the weapon, and within 24 hours our names were struck off the register.
Today I feel like being born again. I receive medical treatment for drugs. Local authorities employed me as promised. Today I work in the company which is engaged in water supply. Some of my friends managed to get normal job too. Among those who gave up with us there were people, on whose conscience are lives of people. Any way they were applied for and by the Union of the Syrian young people too. There were courts, but punishment was softened. Today I realize that I was mistaken.
Tags: magrib, middle east, syria, terrorist, war