A civil campaign to protect Syrian installations with human shields is being held in Damascus in anticipation of looming US attacks and is being organized by Ogarite Dandash, a Lebanese reporter according to a report by Global Times.
The campaign is called “Over our dead bodies,” was started last week on Facebook by Dandash, who has been reporting on the Syrian crisis . The purpose of the campaign is to encourage people to form human shields around Syrian key facilities that are potential US strike targets.
Dandash who used to report to the Lebanese Channel New TV or Al Jadeed TV (as is known in Arabic) a well known pro Syrian TV channel , joined Al Mayadeen , another pro Syrian TV station over a year ago.
She said on Wednesday that the idea of the campaign was drawn from a similar one conducted during the Iraq War. She insisted that it be a “personal endeavor unattached to any financial or political sides.”
“We cannot just wait for the US aggression to come. We want to say we don’t agree with the aggression and we’ll be here to protect Syria,” Dandash said
According to the organizers, hundreds of people have since Sunday started convening on the hilltop of Gasyon, which oversees Damascus and has extensive military and communication facilities.
The campaign set up 20 tents at a site on the hill, with several dozens of Syrians, many of them students, staying overnight.
Ahmad Hammoud, one of the organizers and a student, told the Global Times that more than 10,000 people had joined the Facebook group but that between 300 and 500 had turned out since Sunday.
At around 7 pm Wednesday, dozens of volunteers were taken to the site by bus. During the nearly four-hour rally, they held signs rejecting the US invasion, sang patriotic songs and waved Syrian flags.
The Global Times reporter Wednesday night counted nearly 100 volunteers participating in the campaign at the hill site, while Hammoud claimed that another 100 people took part at another site.
“We choose Gasyon because the Syria TV signal towers are here. The US may decide to destroy Syrian TV facilities to say whatever they want to say to control the mentality of the army and the people,” Dandash said, adding that she is also planning to bring the campaign to other Syrian cities.
Hammoud said the campaign will last until the end of any US attacks.
The organizers claim the campaign was not backed by the government, with authorities only giving approval for their staying on site and providing them with access to electricity.