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The Story Of A Former Syrian Sniper
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The Story Of A Former Syrian Sniper

The boy was only twenty one when he drafted into the Syrian army in December. Less than a year later, he had deserted and smuggled himself out of the country into neighboring Turkey. Now the anonymous soldier, a former sniper in the 14th Division is telling his story, a gut wrenching tale of young men being trained with lies and propaganda to fight their own countrymen.

The US media could not verify the man’s story, but his details match the eyewitness accounts and amateur videos shot during the protests in Syria where it has been suggested that as many as 1300 people have been killed in the past three months alone. The Syrian government is being accused of ordering those killings to stop protests and evidence is being gathered in hopes of charging them with war crimes through the International Criminal Court. Stories like this young sniper’s could certainly help those efforts and he is not alone. It is estimated that nearly 2000 soldiers have defected already and more are likely to try to do so.

The young man said that during the earliest days of his training, the officers made the new recruits watch the protests telling them that they were watching foreigners who had been paid to create chaos and wreak havoc on the Syrian government. Then the men were given leaflets which explained that Prince Bander Bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia was the one leading a plot to destabilized the Syrian government.

By the time the training was over, the soldiers were meant to travel from Damascus to Daraa, they were reportedly “gung-ho” about protecting their homeland, but that patriotism would turn to shock when they arrived and found not paid foreigners but their own, unarmed countrymen, protesting the current regime and asking for freedom. They may have been carrying signs during those protests, but they were not armed in any way and yet, the army officers told the troops to fire into the crowds.

As a sniper, the young man was deployed to a rooftop, high above the protesters. He would report seeing twenty five protesters die that day. Some of them ran and hid while others defiantly stood their ground, fighting back with stones. Videos showed the soldiers shooting, even at white coated medical workers who were trying to gather up the wounded.

The soldier reported that the weapons were gathered and checked at the end of each day’s mission to be sure that they had actually expending their ammunition. And, while the sniper said that he had great skills, he maintains that he never killed anyone, aiming high or low to avoid hitting anyone.

One soldier from eastern Syria, told his superiors that he would not shoot at the people and then disappeared. When the young sniper asked, he was told that the other man had been killed . Eventually, him and twenty other soldiers deserted with the sniper applying for asylum in Europe with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.


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