Oppression is the main reason behind a 65-year-old man's decision to join the Free Syrian Army that is battling the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad, reported Al Arabiya.
“Before we were suppressed, but now we can speak,” Abu Omar told Al Arabiya.
“No one dared to carry hunting rifles in the country, but I have it here and I am fighting you Bashar al-Assad, and I am 65. I will fight you until I die.”
Abu Omar told his story of war starting with how his shop was stormed by Syrian security forces and he was arrested along with 50 others, who according to him, 30 of them were later killed by Assad’s army.
“The security came while my shop was open; they pushed me on the ground. One security guy rubbed his military boots into my neck, and told me, I will break your neck with these boots.”
Abu Omar said security forces then pulled a bag over his head and along with the others were taken onto buses. “We didn’t know where we were going,” he added.
He noted that once they arrived to the undisclosed location, they fell on “dirty water that had human feces floating on top” after security forces kicking them from behind.
The senior man, who is also a veteran Syrian soldier, also accused the regime of selling Syrian land to Israel in October 1973.
In the October war, both Egyptian and Syrian forces surprised the Israeli army in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Parts of the Gold Heights had previously been captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day war.
The veteran soldier-turned rebel said Syrian forces recaptured some of the occupied land but the regime of President Hafiz al-Assad, Bashar’s father, sold 63 villages back to Israel.
“I was in the northern section, our armored vehicles reached Tabariya. We drunk from Tabariya Lake.”
Tabariya is a lake located between northern Palestine and the Golan Heights, southern Syria.