News / Middle East

Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid War

Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid Wari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Paige Kollock
August 19, 2012 7:06 PM
Residents in northern Syria are trying to carry on with their lives despite a conflict that has killed thousands of people nationwide since March, 2011. Helping them are rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who are organizing ad hoc local governments in areas under their control and offering services and supplies. Paige Kollock reports for VOA from Azaz in northern Syria.
Syrians Work to Restore Services Amid War
Paige Kollock
AZAZ, Northern Syria — Residents in northern Syria are trying to carry on with their lives despite a conflict that has killed thousands of people nationwide since March, 2011.  Helping them are rebels from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who are organizing ad hoc local governments in areas under their control and offering services and supplies. 
 
At this makeshift gas station along the roadside in northern Syria, fuel sells for about $2 a liter. It is one of the precious resources the Free Syrian Army is helping to secure.
 
The FSA is organizing Local Coordination Committees to help residents get back on their feet.
 
Samir Haj Omar is a former school teacher and now head of the FSA political council in the town of Azaz. He says they still lack necessities like milk for babies, and medicine, but have been able to organize basic services. "The services [we are providing] are securing water, electricity, bread, street cleaning, et cetera," he said. 
 
The Syrian government calls the rebels "terrorists" and is vowing to eliminate them. But the rebels are not discouraged. In Azaz, despite an airstrike that killed at least 50 people last week, the main market was open for business the next day.

Hamdan Kanou was back to work, running his produce stand as he has done for 20 years. "Today we want to open our shops because people want to come and buy food and stuff to cook. Our life will keep going even if he's striking us by plane. We are not afraid of Bashar al-Assad," he said. 
 
Down the street, a baker opened his doors, selling cakes and cookies to customers, even though most of the neighboring shops remained shuttered. And some pharmacies were operating, offering medicine to the sick and those wounded from the attack.
 
Captain Ahmed Ghazali, head of security for the Free Syrian Army in Azaz, says local officers are working to establish trust. "The biggest challenge for us is making the people who trusted us satisfied with us, as well as dealing with the shortages that these people are facing because of the crisis we're living in," he said. 
 
But one attack can set back any gains the rebels have made. It took several years for this state hospital to be completed, but it was destroyed in a matter of days during a battle last month. Now residents have to travel across the border to Turkey for medical attention.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ariel Ky from: Kuala Lumpur
August 20, 2012 7:21 AM
I am very sorry that the hospital was destroyed. I wonder if Doctors Without Borders or some similar group could go in to give people medical attention.

Is there a way to peacefully resolve this situation? I wonder what Syrians want people in the international community to do who are watching with great concern what is happening to the people in Syria.

I am praying for all of you, and I am deeply sorry about the people who have died and how unstable your lives have become with the escalation of violence.

I don't think the use of violence ever resolves problems. It only creates new ones. We must find other ways to go forward.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid