Comments: 2782 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

rhicc626 karma

Do you feel American military intervention is necessary?

leo24729 karma

Well, I think some intervention is necessary. I mean, the war has reached the point of no return, and all tries of diplomatic solutions failed greatly. The regime is known for its vicious history and it's got to go, but the opposition has some contents that showed also extremism and sometimes terrorism.

In my opinion, the help (preferably from the U.N) is needed not to only get rid of Assad's regime, but to take the country slowly into stability, or else the country will sink in a giant hole of a civil war with no descent outcome and thousands of people dead.


Are you religious?

If so, are you Shia or Sunni?

Thank you for doing this AMA.

leo24379 karma

I'm from a Sunni Muslim background, but I am now a secular humanist. I am not religious, I live the life that most Syrians don't approve of.

Wrestlingisgood356 karma

Are you looking forward to being liberated by the Americans.

Yes, or Double Yes.

leo24354 karma

I lol'd. Well, there's a general Arab hatred for the states, for supporting Israel, and what they did in Iraq and Afghanistan. My beliefs tell me to refuse any kind of help from the U.S, but I wish for anything that can end the misery of the Syrian people. It's been a really long and tough road.

MarkGleason288 karma

What are your thoughts on who used the chemical weapons?

Stay safe.

leo24319 karma

I will have only thoughts and a personal opinion about the issue, and whatever these are, I cannot prove them. But, as a Syrian who knows what the current regime is capable of, and witnessed some really horrible things done by Assad forces, its not unlikely that the regime did really use CW, and it was used before on a smaller scale. The regime main goal is to get the rebels away from Damascus, and it did, and will do, anything to achieve that.

Of course, it is not impossible that the rebels did it, but the fact that all the victims were innocent civilians in Ghouta (liberated area) really makes the idea of the rebels using CW against their own people highly unlikely. Still, I can offer no proof, let's all wait for the U.N report.

BeanGallery35 karma

Can you elaborate on what you have witnessed?

leo2493 karma

In the peaceful demonstrations we used to make at the beginning of the revolution, I saw Assad's forces using live bullets against us, killing people on the scene, only for demonstrating peacefully, asking Assad to leave. What do you think this regime would do when the citizens of the country take up arms against it? I've seen people being dragged out of their homes taken to unknown places. I've seen Assad's forces torturing civilians in prisons until they pass out.

How many massacres did these forces commit? Way more than you hear on the news. Darayya, Baida, Houla, Qusayr, and many others. All names that we will never forget.

Malthous202 karma

How's the weather?

leo24225 karma

It's been awfully hot lately, and with power cuts we spend more than 5 hours everyday without fans. It's getting better now.

crackrox69111 karma

How are you still getting internet??

leo2438 karma

Internet is still working (although intermittently in some areas). In Damascus, where I'm living, it's working okay, with no problems.

LandShark_Go110 karma

have you witness any fighting between the army and the rebels where you live?

leo24256 karma

Yes, and it's horrifying. I mean, you know it happens, and you know it's dangerous, but when it happens really next to you, when at the entrance of the building that you're currently in, it's a whole different story. Gunshots are really, really loud, especially when the hit the building walls and explode. RPGs are extremely loud and scary, not to mention when a tank comes over and starts shelling, you lose your hearing for a few minutes.

theschillingmaster105 karma

How and where do you get daily supplies, like food and water? Also, how bad was the place you were detained at?

leo24235 karma

From markets and shops, normally. In downtown Damascus you can buy anything still, most of the things are still available, only 4-5 times more expensive. We have Pepsi and Coke, for example, but not everyone can afford it anymore.

I was detained twice, in 4 different location. The worst 2 locations were underground cells in a security forces branch. The first one was a very small cell that contained me and my friend together. it had literally nothing, just a tiny cell with walls and a lap dangling above a hole in the little ceiling and you can't reach it. We weren't tortured but that was at the beginning of the uprising, and things weren't that bad yet. The second one was also in the underground, but it was a bigger cell with more than 50 detainees in it. I had to sleep sitting down, there was no place to lay down. The toilet was inside the cell, and it was infected with cockroaches and horrible smell. I could see people coming back from torturing sessions, not being able to speak or hear, they looked like they were in a different world. The passed the level of pain to where they couldn't even feel they exist.

JustTrying2BAwesome97 karma

Do you feel the need/ability to leave the region for your and your families safety?

leo24185 karma

Of course. I mean, there are days that I feel very weak and depressed. I see no future for me staying here, if things are gonna stay the way they are. But every time I think that there will be a day that I leave this country for good, I feel even sadder. I spent my whole life here, my childhood, my adolescent, all my love stories. It's really hard to just throw everything away and move totally to another country.

Of course achieving that is not easy. Maybe I will able to find an opportunity abroad, but many of the people I care for won't be able to.

GringoAngMoFarangBo113 karma

As someone who has left everything behind to live in a foreign land - the pain of leaving your homeland dissipates surprisingly quickly as you make a life in a new place. I, however, did not leave a war.

Also, as someone who has visited your beautiful country, I have to say I'm sorry it has come to this.

leo2437 karma

What cities did you visit in Syria? Please tell us more.

GreatBolshy89 karma

Are you in favor of receiving military support from other countries such as the USA? Why or why not?

leo24119 karma

Yes. Because the regime is not wasting any chance to get support from its allies (Russia, Iran, Hizbullah). Without the support (direct or indirect) the rebels might lose this war, and that will bring hell onto Syrians. Without the support the war could take years and only the Syrian people will suffer. Plus, the rebels are being supported by the U.S and it's allies in the region (KSA and Qatar) long before now.

kinglouis4570 karma

My personal feelings on your country's civil war is that others should stay out of it, but the humanitarian case is strong. I've had serious doubts on military intervention for quite a while. What I deem necessary is that a complete revolutionary government is formed and decides who they want to help them. It should be your own choices as it is your country.

I hope you and your family stay safe and out of harms way. Keep doing what needs to be done.

leo2477 karma

Thanks for your nice word. And what you said is absolutely correct. Syria is the a very good neighbor of Lebanon, and Lebanon has an experience of a 15 years civil war that all parts of the Arab region and of the entire war intervened in. So, we hear stories and we know how ugly it is, and how damaging to the society it can be.

problem is, the regime does not allow any kind of humanitarian aid to enter the country legally, that makes it hard for the U.N or the MSF to really help out. A LOT of people died because of deficiency in medical care. A small injury that might be considered secondary medically can kill someone here in Syria. Other problem is that the political opposition are pussies who are still (mostly) outside Syria, despite the fact that large areas has been liberated by the rebels. Also, most of them don't have their own say on things, since everyone of them is subordinate for someone, probably a rich prince in the Gulf, or the U.S.

LawnMowerLarry51 karma

Why are you pro-revolution and anti-Assad? What do you want to gain out of the revolution, and do you think that said goals are actually achievable considering the considerable influence from outside forces such as Al Qaeda?

leo2475 karma

Any sane person who thinks a little bit about the Syrian situation before the revolution would be totally in favor of one. Of course if you're gaining money or power from the regime, or build your opinions on sectarian bases, then you'd be against it.

The Syrian people suffered from this dictatorship for over 40 years now, and when Havez al-Assad died, his son took over the power, and without mentioning poverty, illiteracy, political suppress, this is a pretty good reason to start a revolution. I mean Syria is a republic, not a kingdom.

One another side, I know that the gains will be really slow, and the barriers we have to pass are so many. But I think it's the path of civilizing and achieving a secular civil society, and many other nations had walked this route before us.

one_post12312351 karma

Do you have any plans on evacuating with the other refuges? Have you ever sheltered or fought with rebels? http://i.imgur.com/FdCVNqg.gif is that you?

leo2435 karma

Of course, but these plans are for extreme danger, when we REALLY have to go, and there's nowhere else safe in Damascus or Syria to go to.

No, I didn't, but if I would participate the the revolution, I would participate with helping wounded people (civilians first). I hate wars and guns and I wouldn't carry one unless I'm in a shitty position to defend myself and my loved ones.

No, that's not me, but whoever he is, he's famous now. Hilarious gif.

one_post12312314 karma

Thank you for the response. Stay safe. Syrian posters on 4chan often speak of the government keeping an eye on what people write on facebook. I know from Saudis that Reddit isn't as well watched by their government but all the same - Best wishes and good luck.

leo2440 karma

I actually post on 4chan, mostly on /int/, but most of them there are just mad. big difference between 4chan and reddit, I feel more relaxed here, and when I speak my mind I don't get named "terrorist" or something like that.

420trashacct49 karma

What do you say to those in r/conspiracy who would say the whole revolution is a CIA and al-Qaeda plot to overthrow Bahar al-Assad and then move on to Iran?

leo24125 karma

Well, anything might be true, but in my opinion an intelligence agency can really set the mood for a revolution, push all it can to really get the public angry and mad, but if there's no ground for a revolution, no dictatorship that made the lives of people really painful and degrading, people won't revolt, waste their jobs and sacrifice their lives for that.

Lucas_Tripwire47 karma

Hey man.

I live in America, and I'm friends with this guy whose family is from Syria.

He's lost a cousin and uncle to Assads forces when they started going through doors looking for people.

I just want to say, I'm sorry for any losses you have suffered at the hands of Assad and I hope it ends soon. I do think that the US did need to get involved due to obamas red line, I supported entry into Syria before that, but I hope the Syrians and other middle eastern countries can forgive our intrusions.

Good luck.

leo2434 karma

Thanks a lot for the wishes, my friend. Please give my best to your friend. Hopefully, Syria will get rid of Assad soon and become the beautiful country it was before this nightmare,

operating_bastard45 karma

What do you think the outcome will be if Assad is overthrown and the rebels "win"?

leo24108 karma

Oh, that's a whole new story. I think the rebels are going to fight between each other, because they are not, like Assad's army, united in one group of one leader. Every battalion or brigade takes orders from a commander. There are Islamic rebels, and there are extremist who are loyal to Al-Qaeda, there are secular rebels, rebels without any view of the future, and rebels with many hopes of the after-Assad era.

I think if Assad falls down, it will be a great success for the country, but only one step in achieving the civil democratic system that most of the Syrians hope for. Of course if an international part intervened somehow to make the transitional move towards that goal, it will save Syria a lot of time, and a lot of blood.

headdetect44 karma

What is the craziest event you have witnessed in Syria?

leo2492 karma

I heard (by ears not on the news) and saw (with our eyes but from afar) some really crazy stuff, but I personally witnessed a few ones. The craziest one has to be when I was in my kitchen cooking, a rocket just fell on the building that's directly in front of my building (Assad forces were in that building). It was at night, but the light of the fire made the whole area looks like it was lit by the daylight. Of course shattered glass was everywhere and the sound of the explosion was horrifying. I wouldn't have been alive now if the rocket launcher was
askew 1 cm.

IcelandicOrangutan44 karma

How is your family?

leo2460 karma

Better than most of Syrian families. I didn't lose any close members of my family, some far relatives, yes.

Thanks for asking.

beefat9942 karma

Leo, I hope you make it through the problems your country is going through. Don't die, and make sure to see your country dictator free.

leo2437 karma

Thanks for your wishes, I highly appreciate it.

NotSafeForWumbo40 karma

How are you today?

leo2484 karma

I'm very good, thank you. Some of the replies and questions here really made my day. Thank you, all.


What do you think about a possible "strike" from the US?

I am from the US an think we should stay the fuck out of it.

leo2485 karma

Of course if was told my country will launch a strike against another country which I find no point of making, I'd stand against it. But, you have to remember that Obama warned Assad that CW are a red line. The U.S in my opinion does not wanna involve directly in the Syrian civil war, but if it was proven that Assad used CW against civilians, and the U.S did not stand behind it's word, it's gonna be like a green light for Assad to do whatever the fuck he wants.

In my opinion, the strike, if it happens, will not solve anything.

Supermtman6438 karma

How has the war impacted your family/friends? Have you lost anyone who is close to you?

leo24102 karma

It affected everybody greatly. Even people who live in central Damascus, which is safer than anywhere else, have been affected in many aspects.

Personally, I lost a year in my college because of my arrest and the general situation. I also lost a dear friend, who's from the Alawite sect (The sect the strongly supports Bashar al-Assad), she is a supporter of the regime and I was, and still am, against it, so we had to go our different ways. It really aches my heart every time I remember her.

fStan28 karma

Do you ever personally fear for your life. Like has there been an evacuation or something like that nearby where you live. Be careful.

leo2438 karma

I faced practical danger a few times over the past year. I used to live in my own house which was in South Damascus really close to the frontline, but still under the control of the regime. I had mortar shells falling nearby, really close clashes and sometimes little rockets. After a while I had to evacuate (and go back there, then evacuate again) because the clashes got really close, and two mortars hit my building.

usaypotatoisaydildo27 karma

Hello from the US.

I am a college student studying International studies and have been following the current events in Syria. One thing I have heard is that while the UN's Security Council is interested in direct intervention in the conflict on the side of the rebels, Russia and China have veto power that they will use to prevent UN involvement. My question is what stake do they have in Syria's government that would make them side with the government over the rebel forces. I haven't found a clear answer and am interested in your thoughts, if you have any, of course.

I have your people in my thoughts. Stay safe over there.

leo2448 karma

Well, that's a great question, and it has been on my mind for a while. From the information I gathered, the main supporter of the Syrian regime is Russia. And Russia saw what happened in Libya and considered that to be a mistake, losing an Ally and an arms importer so quickly, so they learned the lessons and decided to stick with Syria until the last second. They also have a naval base in Tartous, and it has an extreme strategic importance, sine it's the Russians only base on the Mediterranean. Not to mention the billion dollar arms deals with the Syrian government and the refusal to let the U.S decide everything in the world.

These are the things I gathered through time, there might be other reasons though, but I'm not a politics expert, I don't even like politics.

drowningsloth24 karma

What's your everyday life been like since it began?

leo2451 karma

It depends really on where you live. For examply, here in downtown Damascus, nothing majorly changed. Only the prices are now 4-5 times what they were, and we have army checkpoints everywhere in the city, so it's hard to move around. Universities, schools, jobs, even entertainment, are going on as they were, only with some exceptions and changes.

In the liberated areas of Damascus or Syria in general, life has become really hard. The basics of the Syrian daily life, like bread, water, electricity, gas and heat are absent or really rare because of regime sieges.

damoneverheart21 karma

How long until you graduate medical school?

leo2478 karma

A few months. I've been improving my German and hoping to find an opportunity to continue my studies there.


How bad are the conditions there? Do people really feel unsafe everywhere they go?

leo2447 karma

In liberated ares, it's very dangerous, that's why people flee and come here to Damascus or go to safe neighborhoods in Aleppo, Latakia or Tartus, or just go to near countries. Assad forces don't care if there are civilians any where. If there are rebels in a city or a village, the area will be shelled, hit by aircraft in a daily basis. And if that area is close to a strategic location, hell will break loose. Sadly, some people have nowhere else to go, so they stay at their homes and villages, and die daily because of the shelling.

warz0n316 karma

Do you have any fear of your country becoming the epicenter of an Arab nation war involving Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Iran, etc.?

leo2456 karma

It became already.

could_be78913 karma

First, I hope that you are safe...since you aren't answering. Second, you state that a US air strike would not solve the problems there. As a former US soldier, I don't see how placing any Americans on Syrian soil will do any good either (both sides hate us-who are we helping?). Given this seemingly unsolvable situation, and hopelessly paralyzed and ineffective UN. Why haven't you left the country? What other option is there at this point?

leo2417 karma

I'm safe, thanks for your concern.

What you said is absolutely true, but would the strike achieve, if Obama specifically said the strike will be limited and the goal isn't taking Assad down. IMO, I think the international decision of making Assad go has not been made yet, even by the U.S. Syria has borders with Israel, and Assad insured the borders to stay calm for over 35 years now. The U.S won't take chances in removing Assad before knowing who will take charge.

I haven't left the country yet because I will graduate from medical school in a few month. I feel it would be a waste to just start from the beginning again. I hope the situation in Damascus won't just explode before I take my degree.

LiirFlies11 karma

Do you think stability is possible if the rebels win? If so, why?

leo2415 karma

Well, in a way yes, but that won't happen instantly once the rebels win (BTW, Assad losing doesn't necessarily mean the rebels winning). I mean, I have faith in most of the rebels, these simple Syrians who left their homes and jobs and carried arms to defend their villages and families from Assad forces. Of course, there are the extremist who came from other countries to fight Assad and start and Islamic state, and the thugs who allegedly say they're rebels but they're just benefiting from the whole thing, and it will take time for the new Syrian army to get rid of these components and insure stability again. And of course not to forget all the armed thugs who are pro-Assad and might not surrender if Assad dies or loses Damascus.

MadeiiNPoland9 karma

How does the war affect your daily life? i.e cant go to the store because there's a fire fight..

leo2413 karma

Assad's forces are everywhere in downtown Damascus, insuring that the rebels don't enter it easily. It's were all the important building and facilities of the regime are located. At the same time, this makes our life safer, so we can go to places knowing there won't be clashes there (But they cannot prevent the random mortar shells). It also made our life slower because of the so many checkpoints.

ganja_is_ganja7 karma

whats the weather like?

leo247 karma

Extremely hot. August is known to be the hottest month of the year in Syria. I don't know though if the smoke of gunpowder and building burning make the weather more hot..

Firedog005 karma

What do you want to see happen! What do you don't want to have happen?

Whether it it be assistance from foreign countries, just in flight aid, assistance in reform, or leave it all alone. Toss out what you think is the best

leo2416 karma

I would like to see some kind of world intervention in side of the Syrian people. Getting rid of Assad, and taking the country to stability but helping the rebels become the new Syrian army. I don't want to see my countries ruled by extremists like Al-Qaeda, but I don't want Bashar to win either. I want the world to support moderate rebels win the war and save a lot time and many souls. Of course I don't want the U.S to act solely and have the U.S army on grounds, Iraq might've got rid of Saddam, but Iraqis are still dying everyday.

I don't know, it's just too complicated, I don't think I made up my mind yet on what I want and what I don't want.

vipomorge5 karma

Do you think it is true that Saudi gave chem weapons to the rebels, who then accidentally discharged it on themselves?

leo2420 karma

The official media represents the regime all the way. And I first heard this story on the official Syrian TV. We've heard many crazy stories before, but seeing barrels with chemical content, with "Made in Saudi Arabia" written on them, and Assad soldiers wearing normal medical masks, that was the craziest, most stupid thing I've ever seen.

Pic: http://i.imgur.com/UNe7gYJ.jpg

But, it might be true. Who knows.

nath-4 karma

UK here, I am glad my country decided not to inter vein for obvious reasons.

However, do you feel Syria does need help from other countries?

leo247 karma

Of course, Syria needs help from other countries in many aspects. As I said before this civil war might take the country down for good, if no one Intervenes in favor of installing a civil democratic regime. The rebels cannot beat Assad on their own, and Assad refuses all kinds of diplomatic solution (Unless they mention him staying a president and having total powers over the country).

hung-like-a-horsefly4 karma

If the rebels over throw the current regime, what form of government do you think would be installed? What form do you want? Anyone you want to be the next leader?

leo244 karma

If the political opposition entered Damascus as soon as the rebels liberate it from Assad forces, there's a good chance of having a modern transitional government that might be able to take the country into stability with time. But if the situation will be more complex, other rebels with different views (extremists for example) might enter Damascus as well and fight the moderate rebels, and delaying the process.

I, personally, prefer a secular system, but I know the majority of the population want a moderate Muslim regime (after years of oppression by Assad's regime).

supremewzrd4 karma

Hasn't responded once? Well thanks Obama Edit: Well thanks NSA

leo247 karma

LOL. Sorry, I didn't expect to get this number of questions so quickly.

Crenshaw-Pete3 karma

How do you currently feel about the Kurds in Syria who declared self-governance in northwestern Syria and have been fighting radical Islamists who are a part of the opposition against Assad?

PS: For those interested, here's the link to the article I'm referring to about the Kurds: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/08/28/the_civil_war_within_syria_s_civil_war_kurdish_fighters?page=0,1

leo246 karma

Kurds suffered from Assad's regime just as much as the Arabs did. They started an uprising on 2004 that got crushed mercilessly by the regime. Look here. They didn't even have ID cards before the revolution, and Assad started giving them IDs in order to get them to his side.

Of course they will fight Islamists who attack their cities, whether they ally with the regime or stay independent. The Kurdish issue is really complicated in Syria, but in a nutshell, I know that Kurds want their country, so I'm in favor of a federation after Assad falls down. This way, we keep Syria united and we give the Kurds their rights.

YNot19892 karma

If Assad is killed during an Airstrike from a western power (which is either the United States or France at this point), or if his forces are damaged enough to allow for him to be captured or killed by the opposition, who do you think will replace him?

leo242 karma

I think the rebels will take over Damascus, but the armed groups that fight with the Syrian army (Shabiha and [National Defense Force) will go back to the coast area (Mostly Alawites there) and take shelter in their own cities and villages. It will take a long time to see another president of the country.

poopsterstreudal-3 karma

Shiiit, 20 minutes and no response? NSA got him.

leo245 karma

LOL. Sorry, I didn't expect to get this number of questions so quickly.

HardcoreGamedev-5 karma

do u even lift bro?

leo242 karma

LOL. I've been saying this sentence in my mind for over 3 days now.

But, no, I don't lift.