Friday, 7 June 2013

Leaked Video Gives A Rare Insight Into Government Recruitment Drives In Aleppo

The following video, posted on the Youtube channel of Liwa al-Tawhid, and apparently leaked from government supporters, shows a meeting taking place near the villages of Nebbol and Zahra’, near Aleppo.  In this video General Muhammad Khaddour talks to what appears to be local Shias, asking for men to help him in reinforcing Minnagh airbase, currently under siege by opposition forces.  The man stood to the right of General Khaddour is reportedly Muhammad Hammoud, head of the local security committee.  To his left in a white shirt is reportedly Aleppo's governor, Muhammad Waheed Aqqad, pictured here:

I've had the meeting translated, with some additional notes from my translator in italics
0:01 Attendees are chanting typical Shiite slogans, such as “Oh Hussein”.  Hussein is the son of Ali, from whom the word Alawites, or Alawi(s), is derived. He is a reverend Imam among the Shiite sect..
0:22 General Muhammad Khaddour (Khaddour is a typical Alawite name): We will raise Hussein’s banner in Minnagh [airport] and will fight under his banner.
0:31 The attendees chant: We won’t be humiliated. (Also a typical Shiite slogan.)
0:45 General Muhammad Khaddour: We are seeking martyrdom because we have been martyrs for a very long time,(Referring to the year 680 AD, when Hussein was killed. Shiite Muslims see him as the grand or first martyr.) also we are believers and we believe in fate. I hope that you don’t show fear or hesitation as fate can’t be resisted. I also assure you that we will get to Minnhagh and that we will relieve our comrades there. They are waiting for the fighters of Nebbol and Zahara’ to rescue them.
1:28 the attendees chant: We sacrifice our blood and soul for you Bashar [al-Assad].
1:40 I promise that all participants in this campaign will get government jobs after the campaign is over. Concerning those who choose to stay with us, they will be considered as volunteers. Both towns will keep bristling with arms and men in the meantime and in the future. Those who have jobs will get fifty percent pay rise and I also promise that all Nebbol's problems will be resolved very soon. Moreover, both towns will become the capital of Aleppo countryside.
2:37 The attendees are chanting pro-Assad slogans.
2:50 I hope we’ll be able to gather again here to celebrate victory. I vow that all your needs are going to be met. First of all, we need to organize ourselves in groups. Each group will contain fifty men and I want a list of the members’ names. I know that you are brave; however, I hope that you don’t take uncalculated risks. I brought with me between two hundred to three hundred men and I want to complete the groups with men from both towns. The men we need for this campaign should be trained, able and experienced in fighting. Secondly, we shouldn't waste ammunition, as every single bullet is valued to us. Don’t shoot in the air and preserve your ammo. How many men are there with us here?
5:26 Un-named man replies: There are 1500 men here. There are more men outside. (Apparently this cultural center can’t accommodate for 1500 men. Most probably he means that the total number is 1500.)
5:44 General Muhammad Khaddour: After you form the groups, I will hold meetings with every individual group. Tomorrow will be a showdown when we succeed in relieving our comrades and lift the siege of the airport. After we liberate Minnagh we will bring with us part of the equipment stationed there in order to protect both tows. Also some fighters will launch an offensive aimed at clearing the way that leads to Aleppo and link it with these two towns. This is necessary if we want these two towns to prosper. I promise to leave Aleppo and stay with you here once the victory is achieved. The groups will be headed by officers form the [Republican] Guard and by the officers who came with me here. Each group must be headed by an army officer.
10:10 un-named man is asking about the wounded in the city of Aleppo.
10:20 General Muhammad Khaddour: It will be solved. Don’t worry about them. Helicopters will supply us tomorrow with large amount of equipment. Now I want to see you in groups in the outside.
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Intercepted Radio Conversations Gives An Insight Into The Fighting In Qusayr
Syrian Activists Claim Al Mayadeen News Tweets FSA Positions To The Syrian Air Force
Brigadier General Salim Idris And Lebanese Cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Aseer Take A Trip To Syria

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  1. It saddens me to see that this is not a direct translation of what the speakers said, not sure if I can trust everything that you say has been translated.