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December 24, 2012

Thousands of Syrians leave Jordan for the front lines

By Taylor Luck,

MAFRAQ, Jordan — Encouraged by what they view as fatal setbacks to the Syrian regime, several thousand of an estimated 250,000 Syrian exiles in Jordan have left in recent weeks to join the rebellion in their homeland.The exodus has emptied hundreds of the safe houses, apartments and refu­gee tents that housed Syrians in Mafraq and other northern Jordanian cities, according to Syrian activists and Jordanian officials. Jordanian security officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said as many as 8,000 Syrians have crossed the border back into Syria in the past 10 days alone.


Timeline: Major events in the country’s tumultuous uprising that began in March 2011.

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

Timeline: Major events in the country’s tumultuous uprising that began in March 2011.


Interactive: Recent events in Syria

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

Interactive: Recent events in Syria

According to Syrian activists in Syria and Jordan, the sudden returns are a response to a call for reinforcements issued in early December by the rebel military council, the main umbrella organization of army defectors locked in a bloody war of attrition against regime forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Activists said the response has been greatest among refugees in Jordan, because pro-Assad militias in Lebanon have prevented similar returns from that country and many Syrians in Turkey were already involved in the fight.Syrian rebels said the call for more forces comes as the opposition faces a critical stage in the months-long conflict, with their offensive inching closer to the heart of Damascus, capturing several military bases and fending off counteroffensives on rebel strongholds in Aleppo, the southern city of Daraa and the Damascus countryside.

“Now, Jordan has become our number one source of manpower,” said Abu Hani Darawi, a Free Syrian Army coordinator whose battalions in Daraa have received the bulk of the returnees from Jordan. “We are now entering the final battles for Syria, and we need every able Syrian to join us.”

The call for recruits has sparked a steady stream of voluntary returnees from Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, near Mafraq. Jordanian officials are facilitating the repatriation of as many as 150 military-aged Syrians every day, according to Interior Ministry statistics. Ahmed Rifai, a 25-year-old camp resident, said FSA gains in Daraa had prompted him and two of his cousins to request repatriation in a bid to join the rebels.

“We can feel that Bashar’s final days are coming,” Rifai said. “We want to experience liberation day placing our boots on the neck of the regime, not cowering in a refugee camp.”

In addition to former and would-be fighters, activists said the returnees from Jordan include hundreds of doctors, nurses, lawyers and engineers who aspire to rebuild their homeland even as the conflict continues.

Abu Muuath Hamad, a 44-year-old paramedic, said he fled the central Syrian town of Douma after the regime persecuted him for offering assistance to suspected protesters. He said he sought refuge in the Jordanian city of Mafraq for six months, spending his time tending to the injuries and the rehabilitation of the hundreds of wounded FSA fighters who have crossed into Jordan for treatment. On Dec. 10, he was repatriated and returned to Douma, where he was appointed as chief field medic by the FSA.


James Stewart – It’s a Wonderful Life ~ Complete Original/Unedited, Colorized

Merry Xmas



An URGENT appeal from medical staff the makeshift Al Shifa field hospital, Aleppo

Syria, Aleppo. 23-12-2012:
An URGENT appeal from medical staff the makeshift Al Shifa field hospital, Aleppo
This is possibly our last message on the last day of medical work for us.
After running out of fuel to operate our generators, we urgently need help. We are now forced to work by candlelight and using mobile chargers for power after supporters and the Syrian National Council failed to keep their promises to us. We hope that we will not run out of candles. We want with all our hearts to continue doing the medical work that is desperately needed here, but we cannot do so without even the most basic of facilities, equipment and medicine.

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