Mena-Exklusiv

Warum die Bevölkerung Palmyras selbst den Islamischen Staat als das kleinere Übel sah

Von Florian Markl

„Statt also zuzuschauen, wie weitere palmyraZigtausende Syrer durch Bomben, Artilleriefeuer oder Aushungern getötet werden, müssen westliche Militär- und Politik-Strategen umdenken“, war kürzlich im Kurier zu lesen. „Ja, Assad ist ein Massenmörder, aber dennoch muss mit ihm verhandelt werden. Es gibt keine andere Lösung, um das humanitäre Drama in Syrien zu beenden – auch wenn sie Europa oder den USA alles andere als schmeckt.“ Dass es just Assad und seine Alliierten sind, die für den Tod von nicht zig-, sondern hunderttausenden Syrern verantwortlich sind, schien Ulrike Botzenhart genauso wenig zu irritieren wie der Umstand, dass mit dem Massenmörder-Regime, mit dem sie Verhandlungen einforderte, über die Jahre hinweg ja immer wieder verhandelt worden ist.

In dem lesenswerten Buch „Blood Year. Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror“ von David Kilcullen findet sich der Abdruck einer E-Mail, in der ein Syrer die Ereignisse rund um die Eroberung von Palmyra durch den Islamischen Staat im Mai 2015 schildert. Wer immer glaubt, ein Ende des Blutvergießens sei mit der Hilfe des Assad-Regimes zu erreichen, der lese die Schilderung darüber, wie die Bevölkerung von Palmyra dazu kam, selbst die Barbaren des IS als das kleinere Übel zu sehen:

„You are probably aware that regime forces destroyed the power and water facilities before leaving Palmyra and blocked and booby-trapped exit routes from the city making it hard for people to leave. This created panic and anger. Army high-ups, well-armed allied militia, locals officials and other regime cronies fled in convoys, leaving many local people who had been working and fighting with them stranded and in shock. A lot of cannon fodder army conscripts were also abandoned to become easy prey for IS atrocities. Regime-linked ‚shabiha‘ who had commandeered local homes fled, leaving them stripper bare, looting further as they left town. The regime is now bombing Palmyra, destroying a school and hospital close to his [the informant’s] family and are reported to be even firing with mortars into the historic ruins. (There’s outrage at why, in contrast, they didn’t bomb the ISIS convoys, which could be clearly seen roaring across the open landscape well before they arrived in Palmyra.)

His family were terrified, hiding for days in a crowded basement. They emerged to dig wells in the street to get water, but suddenly found ISIS had restored the power and water, and were coming to every street delivering food an modest Islamic garments for the women. There is relief and a sense [that] things could be getting back to normal. (…)

So, ironically, they are now feeling ‚rescued‘ by ISIS, and their families outside find to their shock that they are sharing their views. Syrians there feel outrage at the betrayal by the Government and its indifference to their welfare, and bewildered fury at Assad’s determination to now bomb the city, hitting civilian targets.

The worst is probably yet to come under ISIS, but the people of Palmyra have been slammed by the realization they have no friend in the Syrian government, instead what’s proved to be a more ruthless enemy than ISIS.“

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