Captain Riyad Ahmad Defects/ Deserts the Syrian army and Reveals Information
June 16, 2011
In the name of God, the compassionate and Merciful, Peace be upon you.
May our martyrs, military and civilian, rest in peace.
I am Captain Riyad Ahmad from the Arab Syrian army. Here is the ID card. Special Forces, Cohort 45, Battalion 974, leader of the first detachment?? I declare my desertion from ranks of the Arab Syrian army with which I always wanted to fight to liberate the occupied lands, according to the oath we took, that we preserve the Arab Syrian Republic, as a country and as a people, inside and outside the republic.
But, what’s happening on the ground completely contradicts the oath. We’ve aimed our weapons, which are people’s property, at the chests of the unarmed children of the people. The people who demand their simplest right: freedom. And this is what made me defect from the army.
We, in cohort 45, the Special Forces, were ordered to go to Baniyas city. According to the instructions of the headquarters, there were armed gangs whose members are from a number of Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, plus 4 Israeli experts and an Egyptian general (brigadier), all of whom formed an armed organization in Baniyas with a purpose of stirring instability in Syria. On the basis of this information, the cohort was sent in two stages.
The first stage preceded Al Baida village events. Al Baida village was raided. You saw the details thanks to releasing the recording of the events on the Internet. What you saw from recordings is very little. Much more happened in Al Baida village.
As for the second stage: the remaining units of the cohort were sent/dispatched as well. I was the leader of the detachment. When we arrived in Baniyas, we gathered in the zone of brigade 145 as reserve (forces). We were dispatched as check(points) around all of Baniyas city. All exits and entrances leading to or out of Baniyas were closed to prevent the city from (receiving) food, medicine, and daily basic materials.
When I arrived to my (check)point, Ghassan Afeef who is brigadier-general of the cohort gave me instructions not to deal with civilians even if they insulted us and that so Baniyas residents relax to the army entering (the city).
When the army raided the city, we didn’t find any armed person, not even with a knife. We only found peaceful demonstrators calling for freedom and the unity of the people and the army. Having cut off water and food supplies and communications, the army began terrorizing operations against the inhabitants. They army was backed up by security forces and Shabiha gangs, both of which were operating behind army units to prevent units, officers, and recruits from defecting. Security and Shabiha killed anyone who defected or refused to open fire. When a unit defected, aircraft was used, or a helicopter.
I want to mention the names of few officers who did unethical inhumane criminal acts in Baniyas city. Of these: Lieutenant Yaser Ismail from Jabla city, Gheneri village. And corporal recruit Omar Derwish from Essal al Ward town and this one officer opened fire on the women who were killed in Al Marqab village.
There are other officers who looted houses, shops, gold from homes, after raiding them, arresting their men, humiliating their women. These are Ayman Suleiman, lieutenant colonel secretary of the cohort’s leader. After the raiding operations in Baniyas city, he was moved to cohort 41 Special Forces. This was done to affect information consistency.
Lieutenant Colonel Rami al Khaier, colonel Bashar Eskandar, and lieutenant colonel Ghassan Obaido who tried blowing up Al Noor mosque with a vacuum shell. Because he feared being shot at by some recruits, he refrained from doing that.
Major Nebeel Qibba, major Munzer Mahmoud, captain Fadi Zedan, captain Firas Hassan, major Firas Ibrahim, captain Gaith Saleh. Captain Gaith Saleh made a ‘fatwa’ that we can steal, loot, rape those who are the enemies of the state and regime.
Captain Jafii Abdul-Kareem – he is Ghassan Afeef’s reporting lieutenant, Husam Mohammad. Some phone calls were picked up between cohort’s leader and a detachment leader officer who didn’t shoot at civilians. When cohort’s leader asked this officer why he didn’t open fire, the officer replied there is no resistance and no armed gangs. Cohort’s leader then ordered shooting randomly, destroying homes and that terror and chaos be stirred in the city.
As for me, I was excluded from this operation because they feared I would defect. I was kept under a close watch. There were orders that I be killed in case I attempted to defect. I was told this by one of those appointed to watch me. I will not name him for his safety.
The security committee of every unit closely watch the behavior of every officer to prevent their defection and kill them when necessary. This procedure was applied on me when I returned to the cohort: I was watched during my sleep, when watching TV, when leaving and returning (to the cohort).
Because they don’t want any officer to watch the truth on any satellite, they let them watch Addounia and Syrian national TV channels, both of which are completely deceitful (lying), and which have become ‘war media’ stirring sectarianism, inciting killing unarmed people and brainwashing soldiers – with the help of officers from the security committees in all sectors. They fabricated false scenes of injured recruits in the hospital…that they were shot at by demonstrators.
The truth is: these scenes are but lowly silly acting…I remember few examples. For example, there was a first lieutenant called Yarub Mansur…his shoulder was dislocated 5 days before raiding Baniyas city. He was taken to a hospital and videod that ‘terrorists’ and ‘infiltrating groups’ did that to him.
There is another first lieutenant called Ala Balushi. He didn’t want to raid this city (Baniyas). So he shot his own feet. He was taken to a hospital and another film was fabricated, like the previous one.
I want to note: killing was done systematically in the ugliest ways and methods. A number of security forces and Shabiha – selected by officers – would shoot live bullets directly at the head and the chest for the purpose of killing. As for the remaining elements, they shoot in the air to terrorize and disperse the demonstrations.
They received orders from higher security leadership which would first ask about the number of demonstrators. They would kill according to the number of demonstrators. For example, if the number of demonstrators was 10,000, then orders would say kill 17 and injure 37-40 and so on…the evidence on what I say is the clip on which a security officer wears civilian dress…He wears a white shirt in Hama city. He killed demonstrators after being ordered by another officer. This officer signs by his hand (how many) people he(be) killed, the other signs by his hand that he killed 5.
I obtain this information from an honorable security officer. He serves in the branch of raiding from the military intelligence. One month ago, I received the same information from an NC O (non-commissioned officer). He serves in the branch of Deraa. He told me that killings are done systematically.
On the basis of the aforementioned: I call on all the officers of the Arab Syrian Army – irrespective of their ranks, belonging, and sects – to stop the shedding of the blood of their brothers and relatives in this country AND to do what I did (defection). Post-revolution gains will be much more than what they earn now under this regime in illegal ways.
I know many officers in different sections of the Arab Syrian Army and from various sects. They completely refuse these crimes and bestial acts, but they fear for their lives and that of their relatives. I call on them to join the peaceful revolution of the youth. I say ‘peaceful’ because it is IN FACT peaceful to achieve the demand of the Arab Syrian People of liberation from this tyrannical and repressive regime. I want to note that – in response to all the reactions that will follow – this statement is made out of absolute personal conviction, without any pressure from any party..for no money or anything. I want to reassure my family that I am fine in a safe place. I want to tell the regime not to shed the blood of the people and not to lead the country to an unknown fate. Victory is soon, God-willing. Long live Syria free and dignified, without Assad’s tyrannical gangs. Peace be upon you.