- Arab world - Bashar al-Assad - Popular revolt - Syria
EXCLUSIVE - Forbidden Syria
From the onset of Syria's uprising, the government has barred almost all journalists from entering the country. France 24's reporters went undercover and were able to enter Syria’s northern Idlib region. For several days, they lived alongside civilians and Free Syrian Army fighters. This is their exclusive report from the heart of the opposition movement and their account of how they managed to get into Syria.
In order to get to Syria, we had to walk a tightrope, which began in the mountains between Turkey and Syria. We travelled in the dark through 15 centimetres of snow. After two hours of walking in silence, we stopped at a ruined house in the middle of nowhere.
The most difficult part of the journey was now behind us, but the most dangerous was yet to come. We would soon leave the mountains for the main road to Aleppo.
Suddenly, we saw a dark shape and a shadow moved towards us. We remained frozen to the spot, as still as the old stones which make up our shelter.
This is the first fighter from the Free Syrian Army we meet on the ground. He is the one who will help us get past Assad’s army. He has an old machine gun slung over his shoulders which he acquired by selling his only cow.
There is no time to waste. We have to move fast and change cars three times to avoid detection before finally reaching the town of Binnish in the region of Idlib, where we are going to film.
The regular army has locked down the area of Jabal al-Zawiya. Once we get there, we travel with the Free Syrian Army, to avoid getting caught in their spider’s web.
We have to film quickly and be permanently on the move to avoid being spotted. This was the only way to film our report and avoid Bashar al-Assad's spies.