Transcript of M.D.'s eyewitness Account from Syria

Streets of Idlib
The calm before the storm? Idlib's streets this weekendSyrian Activist M.D.

M.D. from Idlib Sept 9th 2018; Transcript translated to English

To Idlib and the city’s situation since the beginning of the revolution.

As we know, Turkey is our neighbouring country and Idlib is right at the border. At the beginning of the revolution Idlib’s economy started fluctuating. However since then it generally improved. Consequently it has provided a place of stability for many people. People were fighting for the revolution while maintaining the city at the same time. For instance, we tried to enable intellectual engagement, through preserving school buildings. People worked without resting – without being monitored by the regime. Hospitals were also kept working, especially during air raids. We worked together on so many levels and became a semi-state in a state. We became self-sufficient – independently from Turkish or any other countries’ aid. Idlib became a beacon of stability. For refugees from Dara'a, Ost Ghouta, Damaskus, Zabadani, Madaya, Homs, Hama, Aleppo... Iblib meant stability.

We all know that refugees had to choose one out of two options: taking the green bus to Idlib, or working with the regime. Most people who came here refused to work with the regime – if not they could have stayed in their areas. People in Idlib are therefore a mix of inhabitants of the region and refugees from other regions in Syria.

Currently there are two possible scenarios: either national unity in the form of cooperating with the regime, or affiliating with Turkey and thus maintaining our current status not as a Turkish province, but a protectorate. These are the options we currently have to save ourselves from the upcoming air raids – or worse.

There are rumours about a military offensive on Idlib. National unity – that’s what most people here think is not an option for us. If we would have wanted unity, we could have already achieved that in other regions. People in Idlib reject national unity. We don’t want to cooperate with the regime. Even if we were given international protection or a general amnesty – we’d still have to struggle with many problems like employment in public institutions etc. Thus, reunifying the Syrian nation will be complicated. Especially when it inevitably signifies negotiating with a regime that has terrorized us for more than eight years. We wouldn’t be welcomed for sure. It feels like something terrible is about to happen.

This is Idlib’s story. Aside from that my opinion on the Teheran Summit. It didn’t improve our situation. Why? In short people don’t have an influence on the results. Even if Turkey, Russia and Iran could agree on something – our goal is to raise our voice in the form of peaceful protests. For us it’s simply not an option to fall back under Assad’s rule.

Listen to the original audio file (In Arabic) just below this transcript

M D 's eyewitness report from IdlibSyrian Activist M.D.