BEIRUT: For some, the entire notion of a “truce” is a joke, as rebels in the Damascus neighborhood of Assali maintained last week.
In a video posted on YouTube, a rebel solemnly tells the camera that he and his comrades have agreed to turn over their heavy weapons to the regime, in response to demands by local residents suffering from a government-imposed blockade.
Several men then come forward to display the weapons, which consist of four large plastic tubes, a traditional wooden inlaid coffee grinder and a small mortar and pestle used for crushing garlic and spices – they claim the items are an RPG launcher and small artillery pieces.
Another man then appears, bringing with him a shipment of “humanitarian aid,” which consists of several pieces of candy wheeled in on a baby stroller. “The rest is coming right away, in the truck that’s right behind me,” he promises sarcastically.
The rebels then break into song – “God salute the [Syrian] army” – before the narrator declares that he will turn in his “heavy weapon,” indicating his video camera.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 19, 2014, on page 8.