Sharing some comments by Syrians, now living in Canada, on the early days and nature of the protests.
This friend I knew who used to go to protests in Qadam when it all started, not once did he witness shootings. He went to each and every protest in the area, and not once did the police shoot the protesters. Not once did the army intervene.
“No one is listening Eva!! I told many people how the demonstrators under my house would scream and shout and the army would not respond, then they would throw rocks at them, and still they would not respond. One soldier was injured in his head, blood burst, and they rushed him away. But still the army did not respond, until a shot was fired from the crowd, or elsewhere…
Once it started from the other side again, it really started. Many a time the news (al Jazeera) would be stating that there is a big demonstration in Qudssayeh (where I live) in the square below my house, and that there is shooting and bombing of the army against innocent civilians. And I would look out the window: no sound and no gatherings. Shortly after, in an hour, some 15-20 young men, would gather chanting against the regime…but the army would not do anything, they wouldn’t even be there.
I went back to Syria when this started as I wanted to be with my family, so I stayed there from June 2011 to Sept 2012. My house was in Qudssayeh and that is a troubled area. From the start, they were trying to get it in the equation, however the residents resisted despite all attempts. Then lots of outsiders came in, and they brainwashed the younger generation of that town. At one point I had to leave my house as it was very bad. The “rebels” kept shooting and telling everyone to flee because the army was going to bomb us.
A missile hit my house, it came from below, up through the children’s bedroom, up through the roof. Thank God it did not explode. We weren’t there at the time but we have the shell. If it was the army it would have come from above. It is still unstable there. But they have signed a truce, which the “rebels” keep breaking…