Violence Continues In Syria On Eve Of UN Deadline
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Violence continues in cities around Syria and, as Grant Clark mentioned, that is despite a cease fire brokered by the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan. It was supposed to take affect later this week. Now, we're going to hear from one of those cities. It's been on the news many times as a focus of the Syrian government's bombardments.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
From the city of Hama, we're joined now by an activist who's going for now by the name of Abdul for safety reasons. Welcome to the program. So to begin, Abdul, can you describe for us what the conditions are in the city today?
ABDUL: Well, in my neighborhood, there hasn't been much. In upper neighborhood, Arbaeen neighborhood, there has been shelling on the building randomly. There are brigades all over the city. Security forces raid neighborhoods each day. They arrest many people. We have many refugees from Homs city and Hama right now. I think there are more than 500 families who came from Homs in the last month.
Sometimes those families are arrested by security forces and we don't know why. So this is what's happening currently. I mean, everybody's cautioned us about - I mean, no one knows when we may be arrested and when his neighborhood will be raided so there's - I mean, people feel afraid all day.
CORNISH: There's also been reports of killing today of about 30 people, including women and children, in a town nearby. And I understand that you've talked with people there about what happened.
ABDUL: Yes, yes. (unintelligible) village, there were shelling on buildings so buildings were destroyed. People were taken out from the ruins of these buildings, 17 bodies of children and 8 women's bodies and 4 men's bodies.
CORNISH: Do you see any signs that the Syrian government is pulling out?
ABDUL: No. Actually, as I told you, in Arbaeen neighborhood today, there were shelling attacks. Arbaeen neighborhood is in the middle of (unintelligible). I go out of the city and I found that there are tanks all over the roads, all over the countryside, so there are no signs of withdrawal by military forces from there. I mean, I think they are bringing enforcements.
CORNISH: Abdul, as we're nearing this deadline for this proposed cease fire, what would you want from the international community?
ABDUL: Well, we've asked for support many times from the international community. I mean, I think people of the earth, they feel for us and they know what we're suffering from. I think some people are trying to help. But I think, for the governments, let's say for politicians, they will use each part of the revolution, of what we're doing, for their own interests. And (unintelligible) unless we do what they believe is in their interests.
CORNISH: What do you think those interests are?
ABDUL: I don't know what people – what political interests are. What I know is that people - they went out for freedom and we will not stop until we get what we went out for, which is freedom, which is democracy, which is living in a community where there is no fear. This is what we are doing. And I don't wish for anything from countries except that they stop - I don't want them to support us. I just want them to stop supporting this regime or giving it time to kill people.
I mean, there are 153 people murdered today. I mean, in the name of what are they getting killed? And people are standing doing nothing and they keep silent and giving the regime time. And some countries give him weapons to kill us.
CORNISH: Well, Abdul, thank you so much for speaking with us.
ABDUL: Thank you.
CORNISH: That was a Syrian activist in the city of Hama who goes by the name Abdul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.