Three couples who planned to marry in a joint wedding celebration in the north Syrian town of Sarmada near Idlib said they were unable to hold a regular ceremony out of respect for the victims of the nationwide violence that has ensued for nearly 15 months.
The joint wedding turned raucous as anti-Assad demonstrations flared up, while the Free Syrian Army secured the event.
“We are honored that our wedding is taking place in a demonstration, because it’s not right for us to have a celebration when our brothers are dying in Homs, in Damascus, in Hama, in Deraa, in Idlib and in every area,” said one of the bridegrooms.
One of the officers of the Free Syrian Army said it was the group’s duty to protect the wedding as they would do for a demonstration.
The bridegrooms said the escalating violence in the country had direct impact and significance on their special occasion.
“We couldn’t hold a regular wedding when our brothers in Homs, our brothers in Deraa, in Hama, are being massacred. So, we have held a demonstration, so the whole world can see what our situation is like and how we are living,” another said.
Syrian rebels have recently become better equipped with weapons. They acquired them through smuggling and from defected soldiers who hand them their weapons. Shells and sniper rifles have been smuggled through the Turkish border as well.
They say Idlib is the most equipped and organized province, and consider it as the headquarters of the FSA. They believe the province is almost independent from the Syrian government.
Amnesty International recently blamed government forces of targeting civilians in numerous attacks across the country, with its researchers having visited 23 towns and villages in Idlib, as well as in Aleppo, in the past two months. They learned of the fatalities from interviews they conducted with over 200 people.