Since the people of Deir Ezzor took it to the streets, they have been fully aware of the gravity of the situation; they were certain that it is a tremendous and massive battle against al-Assad and his tyrannical oppressive regime. They knew that any gains, defeat or any amount of losses inflicted upon it would be a key victory in their fight against it.
They resorted to protests as an efficient way to express their aims. They declared their support and showed their solidarity with all other people living in different provinces in Syria. For them, it was all about freedom and dignity under the shade of one people and one country.
Deir Ezzor’s FSA rebels fought on multiple front lines in Syria, not only in their province. Since the armed conflict began, we have been hearing of People from Deir Ezzor getting wounded or falling martyrs in clashes against the Assad-regime in different provinces.
When the Assad-regime was driven out from large areas in Deir Ezzor province, the other enemy who is Daesh came and started to launch massive attacks on the rebels-held areas in the province, leaving no choice for them but to retreat from the areas they liberated from the tyrannical regime.
DeirEzzor’s FSA fighters had to withdraw from Deir Ezzor after it fell to the hands of Daesh. However, they did not just quit fighting after the withdrawal but they chose to join in the fight against both Assad and Daesh elsewhere in Syria. They had played a role in liberating some areas in northern and southern Syria, during which more than 200 of them fell martyrs while 60 were wounded; some of them became disabled due to the severe injuries they suffered.
Ali Haji al Wakaa, a regime defector from Deir Ezzor who joined the FSA in 2012 and has fought several battles against Daesh and Assad forces in other provinces of Syria so far. His main objective is to overthrow the Assad-regime and wipe out Daesh, who pushed him to withdraw from his province, from Syria.
He says, “I fought against the PKK, Daesh in Hasakah, Markada and Deir Ezzor, whereas I confronted the regime in Deir Ezzor and took part in the liberation of brigade 113, the battle of Kabahib before my brothers in arms and I had to retreat from Deir Ezzor to Deraa after ISIS takeover. I had fought the regime for around two months in there (Deraaa) before I moved to al-Qalamoun which is the stronghold of the people of the eastern region and I stayed with them for two months as well.
After that I moved to northern Syria and this time I went to Idlib where I have spent around seven months so far.
He continues, “I participated in most of the battles against Assad forces in Idlib and the Mount al-Arbain. However, as I was clashing against the regime forces, a bullet fired at me by a regime soldier pierced my backbone and as a result, I was paralyzed in the lower limbs. I was treated at one of the hospitals in the area of Bab al-Hawa where I had to stay for more than 10 days during which I underwent a surgery to clean my intestines. I was then transported to a recovery hospital in Sarmada where I was treated for 20 days. And then I entered the Turkish territory to carry out another surgery in order to install the vertebrae.
Despite the lack of competency and some other equipment, the medical staff did their best, hoping they can help me recover from my severe injury. I underwent a surgery in Turkey and then I was sent back to a recovery hospital in the liberated areas that is controlled by Ahrar al-Sham, whom Ali fought in its ranks. After his situation became stable, Ali moved to live in a house that he rent himself without the help of anyone else.
70 dollars of dues is the amount of money Ali receives from Ahrar Sham after suffering a severe injury that has made him disabled. He excuses them for not increasing the amount of money as many of his comrades in the ranks of Ahrar al-Sham are deprived of such dues.
Ali says, “ I am aware of the situation with regard to Ahrar al Sham. They would have helped more if they had the ability and chance to do so. They are actually doing their best by providing me with some basic needs to reduce the hardship I am facing by sending me to hospitals in Turkey that are meant to treat only the Syrian people. I go to them so often and they provide free medical treatments for the those suffering injuries.
When we asked Ali al-Wakaa about the humanitarian medical organizations that have filled the streets of the Turkish cities whether they have provided something or not; Ali answered by saying,” I have never been treated by any humanitarian or medical organizations. My comrades and I are in need of crucial help and the fact of being overlooked by these organizations have no valid excuses.
Many others are going through the same situation as that of Ali. The majority of them do not benefit and get the necessary medical treatments for their injuries. It is a case that arises questions about the effectiveness of the humanitarian medical organizations that operate in Turkey.