Syrian defectors seek refuge in jordan after running out of ammunition

[4/17/2012 12:00:00 AM]

Syrian Ordeal Part II

By Shaherah Khatatbeh

AMMONNEWS- Ramtha - 23 year old Abu Jawad is a defector from the Syrian army who came to Jordan last May after the ammunition he had while in the army ran out. Abu Jawad, whose real name has been protected, says that he was forced to flee to Jordan after his ammunition ran out and his commander in the Free Army instructed him to go to Jordan since he was wanted by the Syrian regime.

Abu Jawad started thinking about defecting from the Syrian army after finding himself put in front of civilian demonstrators in his home town of Dera'a and being instructed to fire on them.

Abu Jawad says: 'they told us that we would be fighting on the Golan Heights front and they moved us towards the Golan but via Dera'a - which amazed us, but we couldn't question the order and we didn't know what was going on outside our barracks'

The next day, 'we went out in a convoy towards Dera'a town and received orders from a Brigadier to fire on armed gangs inside the city. We were taken aback that we would be firing on our cousins'.

'For a moment I felt like time had stopped. How was i supposed to aim my weapon at my cousin?! They were all civilians.'

'I was posted with a few colleagues at a barrier and Thanks to God I didn't fire on anyone' continues Abu Jawad.

The following day his friends Ahmed al-Nablusi and Muhammad al-Ali and Ahmed al-Zoabi were shot in the head by a snipers positioned behind the army forces lines.

Abu Jawad saw them and other colleagues who were shot down and could not even say goodbye or grieve for them, and after completing his patrol he decided he would not return.

So he took his rifle and fled. He returned to his home village near the border with Jordan and joined the Free Syrian Army, but within a month his ammunition ran out and he decided to flee to Jordan, though he may return if he can get hold of more ammunition.

Abu Jawad is one of the hundreds of Syrian dissidents how fled to Jordan but he hid the fact that he was a member of the Syrian army since soldiers coming into Jordan are kept in special military camps within the kingdom, details of which are not publicly disclosed.

Abu Jawad did not disclose how many of his colleagues had fled to Jordan but he confirmed that there are a lot of them and that they are in constant contact with each other to coordinate a return to the fight.

He notes that they carried out executions of collaborators with the Syrian army but he denied that the Free Army had attacked the families of regime collaborators.

However Syrians have confirmed to "Ammon News" that the houses of those collaborating with the regime are sometimes set alight after they have been executed, and that in the most sensitive cases the tribe to which the collaborator belongs is instructed to deal with the collaborator to avoid revenge attacks, particularly in border regions such as Dera'a which most of the refugees in Ramtha came from.

More than 1000 thousands refugees fled to neighboring Jordan. In Turkey alone, over 24,000 Syrian refugees have crossed the border into Turkey, according to many Turkish sources.

* Ammon News photo Syrian defector/ By Shaherah Khatatbeh

Translated By Jessica Watkins

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