(ANS – Rome) – Fighting continues in Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that more intense skirmishes have been confirmed in the districts of Chaar, Tarqi al-bab, Hanunu, Bustane al-Qasr and Salaheddin. While the Syrian army is winning back territory occupied by rebels, incidents and strategies are emerging which are damaging freedom and human rights, in particular those of the weakest and of the young, and which reveal a targeted strategy.
Many new facts are coming to light as rebels are captured and their documents examined. From the information acquired a confused picture is building up, which seems to be following a plan devised and financed from outside Syria. Boys from 14 to 16 years old are being recruited by the rebels to transport and conceal explosives, for a payment of 1000 Syrian lire paid in two instalments, before and after their cooperation. Muslim and also Catholic boys are involved. Many families in the occupied zone have taken refuge in public buildings and state schools in Aleppo. Women and children have been very generously assisted by humanitarian organisations. From their accounts it is becoming clearer how the idea is spreading that this is a holy war.
Tens of thousands of mercenaries paid in dollars ($2660), equipped with sophisticated weapons and dazzled by the rewards promised to martyrs, are heading for Aleppo. Rebels are abducting prominent people – eminent physicians, scientists or managers – killing them or demanding exorbitant ransoms. Public services have been disrupted to create greater difficulties for the people and heighten the sense of unease. Senior officials have been bribed to go over to the opposition. This has brought terrorist links into the open as there have been operations which have attacked the country’s symbols of life, history, civilisation and security … not just the looting of the citizens’ homes.
The state has chosen a military solution; these days Aleppo is at the centre of international attention. Many of the rebels who have fallen in the fighting are non-Syrians, from both Arab and non-Arab countries … Many families who thought that their sons were involved in work contracts in neighbouring countries are finding, after a period of no news, that their names are on the lists of rebels killed in Syria.
It is becoming clear that there is a plan to make Syria into an Islamic state, as part of a global project involving the entire region. The conspiracy continues to spread false information aimed at raising world opinion against Syria. Those on the ground know that what is happening in Syria is not the result of conflict between religious traditions.
The new shoots of freedom – of what has perhaps prematurely been called ‘the Arab Spring’ - are beginning to wither. Once again those paying the price are poor people who are being deprived of everything, including freedom and life.