Tuesday, 16 February 2016
How Syrian Activists in Raqqa are Resisting ISIS
'Incredible footage obtained by Sky News shows how Syrian activists are resisting ISIS in Raqqa, the city that was dubbed ‘the capital of ISIS’. The activists are part of the group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently‘ (RBSS), a loosely-organized group of activists, described by the New Yorker as “as kind of underground journalistic-activist enterprise”, who have been struggling against both Bashar Al Assad's regime at the start of the revolution and then, when the Free Syrian Army (FSA)-held city fell, ISIS.
We learn of Abdulaziz Al-Hamza, a Syrian activist who is now in exile in Turkey due to his sympathies towards the FSA and co-founder of RBSS. Al-Hamza met another activist, Sarmad Al Jilane, also in exile in Turkey and, along with 15 other people, they set up RBSS in the hope of facilitating the transfer of images and videos taken by anti-ISIS activists still residing in the heart of the terror group's ‘capital’, which controls territory across parts of Syria and Iraq.
RBSS was honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)’ 2015International Press Freedom Awards for their journalism. In his acceptance speech, RBSS’ spokesperson said:
"I speak today on behalf of millions of Syrians who are looking for a free, democratic and united country.
I am deeply sad for my beautiful country. It is suffering greatly from regime fever and the cancer of terrorism, so greatly that I fear its spirit will melt.
We are caught between two aggressive and brutal forces. The first is a criminal regime, obsessed with power, claiming to fight against terrorism by killing children.
The second spreads evil and injustice, and paints our nation black.
Each of them considers us criminals because we are disclosing their actions to the world. Now the mere mention of the name of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” has become a crime punishable by death." '