After over more than 40 years in power the Assad regime has succeeded in connecting all social stratums with the security agencies in Syria.
“Security branches have followed every twist and turn the people lives, from the cradle to the grave. Neither a clerk nor an official could keep his job or have any promotion unless he is recommended by them,” explains Abu Abdo, who lives in Hama city, describing the circumstances in regime-controlled areas.
Abu Abdo believes that people in regime-controlled areas fall under two categories.
"The cooperators, who seek authority and power, and the fearful common people who try to keep themselves and their families as safe as possible," he says.
"Some of the common people’s sons even serve by force in the military services. However, the regime does not trust the people in Hama especially after the eighties massacre. A relatively small of people are seeking influence and power through selling out the rebellions, brutalizing and bullying them in public. They have made a very frightening reputation."
“Talal al-Dakak is a big shot thug in Hama city. His convoy consists of at least three conspicuous vehicles and he often leads the raids and arrest operations. Occasionally, he takes part in questioning the prisoners using the most vicious methods of torture and humiliation. He has also made some connections with the people to serve his humans trade; you can easily reach him and pay a huge amount of money to free your detained relatives, regardless the accusations or the importance of the prisoners on the regime’s lists. Sometimes he personally escorts the wanted people out of the city for the right amount of money.”
Other sorts of supporters are the “informers”; civilians who secretly work for the regime. They are widely spreading information about the rebellions and the activists, writing reports about the political activity of the inhabitants. They even appear in some military campaigns, covering their faces and leading patrols to locate or identify wanted people. The rebels cannot target them freely because they are working undercover and doubt is never enough to end someone’s life.
“There are a lot of Assad’s regime informers in al-Kosour neighborhood. However, a few of them are known and the regime has also hired some women to do the dirty work. There are at least two informers in just in our street,” says Omar, another citizen from Hama.
“One of them is recognized by the way he acts; he is always around working in his shop which is not providing anything. Sometimes patrols stop by to buy something and chat. The other one is serving in the military near Sweida road, and is afraid to come over.”
The second type are the common people who might be opposition or just interested in protecting themselves from the regime violence, so are forced to deal with the regime just to be safe and to earn a living.
We spoke to Anas, who says that he is a "common governmental clerk."
"My job does not mean that I am loyal to the regime, but it is the only source of money for me and my family. Even though I think that my job might prolong the regime a little bit, I have no other income or craft to depend on,” he says.
The relationship between the regime supporters are usually very friendly. They exchange favors and stay close to each other on a social level, believing the letting others into their lives may endanger them. They marry each other, but not from the “enemies", revolutionaries or families of martyrs. This created huge social divisions and problems; to select your partner exclusively from your political, sect or region does not benefit the community.
“I have always loved her dreamed to marry her. However, my position in the regime meant I was rejected by her parents, even though I attempted to be friendly to her father,” says Ahmad, who works at a military security branch.
“I have been rejected by the family because they lost a son in a military campaign in the city two years ago.”
Economically, the supporters have no financial problems. Their work continuesi smoothly, supported by the government, especially if the person has a governmental job. Anything can be done, even if it is against the law, if you have the recommendation or the right amount of money.