Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey had horrifying stories to tell Thursday about what they went through over the last week, especially in the northwestern town of Jisr Al-Shughour, the site of numerous killings.
A Syrian security officer who fled with the civilian refugees told the Hürriyet Daily News that they received an order by phone Friday to kill all the protesters in the town.
“We received a phone call from the center, and they ordered us to shoot and kill all the protesters,” said Ahmad Gavi, 21, a Syrian soldier who fled to Turkey following the deadly clashes in Jisr Al-Shughour.
“Five soldiers who refused to follow this order were killed immediately in front of me. Then commanders and some soldiers started to shoot each other,” Gavi said. “There were 180 soldiers at the security check post and 120 of them were killed.”
Gavi said he dropped his gun and ran away to Turkey as a refugee. “It was not the protesters who killed the soldiers, it was the commanders who killed them; most of the soldiers ran away with the protesters then,” he said, adding that there are 60 Syrian soldiers in the group that fled to Turkey.
‘Iranian soldiers attacked’
The solider also claimed that Iranian soldiers attacked Syrian people over the weekend. “Iranian soldiers were brought to Jisr Al-Shughour on Saturday by the Syrian government, and they attacked the civilians in town,” said Gavi.
“Maher’s men are killing everyone,” he said, referring to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher al-Assad.
Another refugee who fled to Turkey on Wednesday night said the Syrian security forces were killing everyone, including women and children. “Maher’s men even assaulted the town with helicopters; there were military operations every day, they shot at the houses with bazookas,” claimed the 18-year-old refugee, who asked to be identified only by the initials A.J.
People are expecting another big assault on the town in a few days, and women and children have been entirely evacuated, A.J. said. “All the women and children from Jisr Al-Shughour have been fleeing to Turkey; there is not a functioning hospital left there, so wounded people are also being brought here to Turkey,” A.J. said.
The refugee added that there are still hundreds of people waiting to enter Turkey, and that the Turkish army has given tents and food to those who are waiting at the border.
‘200 wounded refugees hospitalized’
More than 200 wounded refugees fled from Jisr Al-Shughour to Hatay, one of their number told the Daily News. “I was with my friends and we were just standing by my car on the street in Jisr Al-Shughour when the soldiers started to shoot suddenly. Two of my friends died immediately. I was shot in the leg and hardly escaped with my life,” said S.B., 33, who asked to be identified only by his initials, while being treated at the Hatay State Hospital.
HATAY – Hürriyet Daily News
June 9, 2011