Franklin Lamb från Damaskus – Syria’s First Line of Defense: Dial 133
There are more than 9000 of them. Predominately young but of all ages. Volunteers everyone. Often risking their lives just to come for a twelve hour work-shift, as many as seven days a week at the Syrian Arab Republic Red Crescent Society (SARCS) Emergency Operation center.
Located at The New Zahera (blooming flowers) Hospital in Damascus just to the south of Yarmouk refugee camp, SARCS has its main emergency response teams HQ. It is here where Syrians, some Palestinians and even a few from the region and the West receive training as qualified para-medics.
Maybe two-thirds of those this observer spent a day with a few days ago are students and graduates. Nationalists all, and in the main, but not everyone, supporting the government, but sympathetic towards whomever can end the killing and return life even to “pre-events normalcy”.
Every bombing and disaster in Syria these days brings more applications to join the SARC volunteer teams. Such is the character of the Syrian people, an amalgam of their history, culture, Arab nationalism and resistance stance.
Current shortages for emergency services in Syria include medicines, medical equipment, fuel, food boxes, blankets and cooking utensils. Some of these shortages are the direct and foreseeable result of the US-led sanctions daily targeting the civilian population of Syria with the hope that riots from the cold, malnourished, suffering civilian population will cause the elected Government of Syria to falter and the Western goal of regime change will follow.
As the history of sanctions targeting civilian populations makes plane, these inhumane sanctions fail in their political objectives and simply engender the wrath of the civilian population which frankly inures to the political benefit of the government in power.
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