Below I’ve translated a set of tweets from Syrian revolutionary writer-analyst Ahmad Abazeid, newly out of besieged east Aleppo and now in the Idlib-centric rebel-held north.
Abazeid’s tweets provide another glimpse of how Idlib is, by all accounts, a rough place.
It was rebel-held eastern Aleppo and its surrounding countryside that had been the locus of revolutionary civil society and non-jihadist “Free Syrian Army” rebels in Syria’s north. Now, with the conclusion of the Aleppo siege and the evacuation of many of east Aleppo’s rebels and civilians, the east Aleppo residents bussed out of the city have been dropped into “greater Idlib,” where they have to either navigate between or nestle under Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham, people mysteriously turn up dead in rivers, and unaccountable, masked men have the run of the countryside.
“In only ten days, there have been kidnappings, robberies, assaults, and murders committed against the revolutionary factions (especially those that left Aleppo) that, if they had happened over a period of months, would have been a ‘breakdown of security.’ This is a jungle.
“The factions that have been attacked over the previous days: al-Jabhah al-Shamiyyah, al-Sultan Mourad, Tajammu’ Fastaqim, Jeish Idlib al-Hurr, Jeish al-Mujahideen, Feilaq al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham.
“In the jungle of the ‘liberated’ Syrian north, you find the slogans ‘shari’ah’ and ‘teaching aqidah (creed)’ on every wall, as if our people are the infidels of Qureish. Meanwhile, on the ground, it’s the shari’ah of force that rules everyone.
“These fatwas from men of unknown provenance and the sea of filth from unknown users on Twitter are inseparable from the crimes of those with unknown faces [i.e., masked men] on the ground. We aren’t absolving the regime, but we won’t hide from our reality to accuse it exclusively.
“Before we left [Aleppo], I spent nearly a year in which I didn’t sleep a single night outside Aleppo. Truthfully, we only felt safe in the most dangerous city on earth, where bombing and battles were daily weather.
“Aleppo taught us – with the harshest lesson possible – the meaning of the verse, ‘And fear a trial that afflicts not only those among you who have done wrong’ [8:29]. When we don’t deter the unjust and fools control our fate, the ship will sink.
“Whoever doesn’t protect his weapon doesn’t deserve it. These weapons are our dignity, and our pride. Timidly granting criminal gangs the weapons of our revolution, without resistance, is a betrayal of the people that entrusted you with this responsibility.”
Abazeid’s original Arabic tweets follow, below the jump: