An end to the shelling and the fighting on the Syrian fronts only provides limited psychological comfort to fighters and activists. They are fully aware that this truce, which is no different from those that have preceded it, is a stepping stone to another stage that may be more difficult militarily and in terms of the humanitarian situation.
Whilst the timing of the ceasefire, which came into effect with the advent of Eid Al-Adha, may be an opportunity for fighters and activists to greet their families, communicate with them or visit them, it does not mean that their work is over. One of the fighters on the fronts in Aleppo, northern Syria, named Hamdi told Asharq Al-Awsat that “The revolution is not a job that we leave behind when our working hours end. The cause is our cause and the liberation of our country is the basis of the work that we do, and we cannot achieve this if we fail or if we rest”.
Hamdi added “We did not leave the fronts until the truce. During this period, the distribution of tasks remained as it was. The period gave us some psychological rest, but just because the battles have calmed down, this does not mean that that we were standing idly waiting for what will happen during the next stage. On the contrary, we are taking advantage of the truce to organise our paperwork and equip ourselves psychologically and militarily to return to the fighting at any moment when the truce comes to an end”.
Hamdi confirms that “Based on our past experiences, we realise that the situation after every ceasefire is worse. As usual, the regime uses the truce to re-equip its troops and weapons. Likewise, we are organising our plans and preparing our return to the battlefield after fortifying our headquarters”.
A Syrian activist in Aleppo called Abdul Qadir Allaf’s situation is no different. The absence of the sounds of bombs dropping is allowing him to rest psychologically and he is spending his days close to his mobile and computer screen, waiting for any sign of the aid that is supposed to be delivered to Aleppo. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that “On normal days, we were so busy with work that we forgot to check up on our families. The truce is an opportunity for us to communicate with our families and wish them a happy Eid, especially as it coincided with Eid Al-Adha, even though we do so from behind a computer screen and by using social media networks which have become an essential source of news and are a fundamental means of communication for us in our work”.