Druze in South Syria Vow to Defend Themselves against ISIS
On August 9, OTV aired a report on the Druze village of Rami, in south Syria, in the aftermath of an ISIS attack that left many dead. A wounded fighter showed the TV crew where the battle had taken place and said he had been hit by a sniper. A mother declared that she would shoot herself rather than be taken by ISIS or allow her children to be harmed, and a little girl sat on the floor, loading bullets into cartridges, in order to help the fighters.
Local Druze Man: On the outskirts of the village of Rami, to the east, is where most of our martyrs are killed. In this place. We are now at the spot where two were killed.
Reporter: You were wounded, but not killed.
Local Druze Fighter: Right.
Reporter: What happened?
Fighter: A sniper hit me and my cousin. My cousin was martyred and I was wounded.
Reporter: Where were they hiding?
Fighter: On the rooftops.
Reporter: And where are they hiding now, in caves?
Reporter: How do they get their aid and equipment?
Fighter: Through the Bedouin.
Reporter: Through the Bedouin…
Fighter: That's right.
Reporter: The Bedouin who herd their sheep here…
Fighter: Yes. They fled along with them.
Local Druze Woman: I was holding a rifle when it happened. I was standing where you are standing now, so that if they entered through the veranda, I would be able to protect my children. I thought that if they saw me, and we were both armed – we would attack one another. What matters is that they die on my land.
Reporter: Do you think that a woman should kill herself so that they don't get to her?
Woman: Yes. She must protect her children, her honor, and her land, and she must stand just like the men. If they come to me, I will fight them. Even if they blow themselves up next to me, I won't step out of my house. Even if I have to shoot myself, I won't step out of my house.
Reporter: What are you doing?
Little Girl: I'm loading cartridges.
Reporter: Is that what you did when the terrorists came?
Reporter: Where were you?
Girl: I was loading cartridges.
Reporter: To help those who were fighting?
Reporter: What did the ISIS fighters say when they were here?
Girl: They said: "Allah Akbar."
Reporter: Weren't you scared?
Reporter: Why not?
Girl: Because it's over.
Local Druze Woman: Even if he dies, we have a thousand young men for President Bashar and our land. In order to defend or honor, we will raise a thousand fighters in his place.