In Syrian towns, villages and provinces “liberated” from government control, residents are experiencing new rule — with tribal or revolutionary councils led by military and political chiefs taking over.
The city of Binesh, in the northwestern province of Idlib, has been “free” for nine months, but like many of their compatriots, the city’s 45,000 residents suffer food, water, fuel and medicine shortages, as well as electricity outages.
The Syrian revolution has thrown the country into an economic crisis, but “there is no famine, we help each other,” says 43-year-old Abu Obeid, a local activist.
In a bid to keep the town going, its men have elected “a revolutionary council of around 100 members,” says 25-year-old Wassim, a former student who now publishes a bimonthly local newsletter.
In the course of a week spent in the provinces of Aleppo in the north, Idlib in the northwest and central Hamas, AFP found numerous towns that have established similar bodies.
Most often the residents are now under the rule of a “revolutionary council,” headed by a military chief and a political chief.