I’m from Palmyra, and I can tell you after what I’ve seen that the Assad regime is no better than Isis

Mohamed Alkhateb writes: I was born and raised in Palmyra. I went to university in Homs, but when noises started to be made about a revolutionary movement, I knew I had to return to my home city.

At the beginning of the Revolution, my friends and I established what we called the “Palmyra Coordination” – essentially a group to coordinate and lead peaceful demonstrations calling for freedom. But the situation quickly spiralled out of control. Security forces within the city were unable to control the escalating revolution or withstand the flood of demonstrations. Tens of protesters were killed during their efforts.

After months of protests, the Assad regime sent a huge deployment of about 50 tanks and 3000 soldiers to take control of the city. After Palmyra was stormed by the SAA [Syrian Arab Army], some friends and I knew we had to flee.

After six days, however, we were captured by a group of around 30 SAA soldiers in the surrounding countryside and detained.

Needless to say, we were badly treated by these soldiers. They slapped us and beat us, and then marched us to a security branch in Palmyra to begin our interrogation. Worse was to come. [Continue reading…]

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