Since last week, news rapidly spread about a Christian family that fled from the areas which are under Assad’s control to the liberated city of Afrin. After they had reached the liberated North, they revealed issues occurring in the regime-held areas about the collapsing economic and social situation.
The father and head of the family, Abu Amin, said, “We are from the city of Suqaylabiyah, and I have preferred to stay with my family there since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, we never thought of leaving, as we were one of the families earning well.”
He continued, “But over time, conditions began to worsen, we were no longer able to secure the most basic necessities of life, such as food and clothes. The situation in general was bad, even for schools and transportation, so we decided to leave.”
He then added, “The regime’s sources were the only sources of news inside, and the regime was promoting false and misleading ideas about the liberated areas; among the lies being promoted was that it was an area belonging to militants and terrorists.”
Abu Amin also exposed the regime as the ‘protector of minorities’ , which Assad brags about in front of the West, who imprisoned him and his family to force him to reside Assad controlled areas instead of securing the simplest necessities for them to live. He also spoke of the issue that is being spread by Assad and the Russians about it being safe for refugees to return to their areas – that Assad’s ways of encouraging was imprisoning people.
Abu Amin said: “We left al-Suqaylabiyah in very difficult circumstances, and we were arrested by the regime’s intelligence, my family and I were imprisoned for 15 days.”
He then recalled about how it felt when they reached the liberated areas saying, “After we got out of prison, I tried to communicate with some of my old acquaintances abroad through social media for a safe place to stay, but I failed. I was very surprised by the situation here in Sheikh Hadid, Afrin, and I discovered how much the regime was spreading lies and deceptions to delude people in its areas not to go out. The reception of people was wonderful and they all worked to help us feel comfortable.”
Syrian opposition member and a member of the Independent Kurdish Association, Azad Othman, said, “Honestly, the asylum of a Christian family to the opposition areas is a positive step and calls for rejoicing, and it is an indication that the Syrians are able to overcome the hatred promoted by Assad”.
Othman, stressed that this incident is a message to the regime, which adopted a strategy of creating hostilities between the different Syrian ethnicities to show itself that it is the protector of minorities. And this welcoming reaction from the opposition areas may change the view of most countries involved in the Syrian revolution.
In addition to this, many Alawites reacted to the incident of Abu Amin, when the news was published by an Alawi opposition page called The Free Alawites Movement. Most of their reactions were sympathetic towards Abu Amin’s condition, revealing their state of extreme disgust towards the loyalists. This came to the extent that many loyalists have recently began to share their anger on the horrible living conditions in the areas controlled by Assad.