Syrian troops attack protesters

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Lisa Mullins: I'm Lisa Mullins and this is The World. The uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted last month in Deraa. Today, hundreds of Syrian troops backed by tanks launched a heavy attack against protestors in the city in an effort to crush the opposition once and for all. Opposition activists say that at least 20 people have been killed. We have reached a resident of Deraa, someone who left the city just his morning. He is now in Damascus, Syria. He asked us not to reveal his name. When did you leave Deraa? What time of day was it and why did you leave?

Deraa Resident: We left because the security forces have entered the city, and it was so dangerous for my family, so we had to leave you know, through a special permission. They don't let anybody go out or inside Deraa, and it was controlled all the way. We had been stopped by military forces. One control lasted about two hours and we had to switch our mobile phones because it's even dangerous if you have any picture of the administrations, or [inaudible 1:05] about the administration is really dangerous, because of the security situation, they have control. The situation in the city is so dangerous and it was really compromising for any safety, for any family because there was gunfire, shooting on all of the buildings. Now, there are cars with insurgents, military insurgents patrolling all of the residential areas looking for people they have listed you know. And entering any house without any permission. As a matter of fact, when they got inside the city at 5 o'clock in the morning today, they didn't even advise, or they didn't even let the people know that they had not to go outside in the street. So they killed whatever moved in the street.

Mullins: Have you been a part of the protests yourself?

Resident: Yes, sure.

Mullins: You have.

Resident: Three or four of them at least. And the process has been repeating in all the past days, one in the [inaudible 1:59] mosque in [inaudible], a traditional old area in Deraa. And many of them in the Al-Karama square, which is a central square nearby the Justice Palace.

Mullins: When you were leaving, what kind of precautions did you have to take? For instance, did you erase any messages or pictures, images from your mobile phone, did you clear out the car, what did you do?

Resident: Well, actually, we have such light a phone where I have to resistors[? 2:27], with just some of the incursions today, when the military forces entered in the early morning, and we have to keep this because I am sending them to my friends and all over, some in Dubai, some in other countries, and European countries too, in order to broadcast this in the media. We have to have hide our mobiles. You can't have a camera or any media instrument which could provide you with the reality which is going on there, or any landscape, any scene from the process. They're merely prohibited. From my usual mobile I had to erase a lot of pictures of the administrators last week and this week, and a lot of beating. I know this is a risk at security. My brother yesterday had to do the same when he was at a checkpoint and the military. My other brother had to go there and testify that he is his brother and that they're not doing anything, and just passing by the bridge nearby in Damascus, you know, that's why. And the area of Duma, which is also now held by the presence of the military forces and security forces, just like Deraa.

Mullins: Do you feel safe right now?

Resident: I feel safe. We seem safe. It's not a safe country anymore, no, so we can't feel safe... We feel safe at a certain point, but unsafe in this country that's [inaudible 3:53].

Mullins: That was a resident of the Syrian city of Deraa. He spoke with us from Damascus and asked us not to reveal his name.