Unmistakable Voice Of Spotter Is Syria’s Version Of Paul Revere

The unmistakable voice of a Syrian spotter has been heard by thousands of rebels fighting in the country’s northern countryside, a warning to those listening on two-way radios about enemy movements.

The spotter, who goes by Mudar Abu Ali, is part of a network of watchers who keep track of roads and military bases to broadcast warnings about the movements of government forces. Mudar, who does not give his surname for fear of reprisal, has become something of a legend among Syrian rebels, keeping them abreast of nearly every action taken by their enemies.

The unmistakable voice of the Syrian spotter has led to other fame. On Tuesday was featured in an in-depth article for The New York Times. The story told of how Mudar leads a network of close to two dozen men, all assigned to a specific place to follow Syrian Army and Air Force movements.

The rebels say the unmistakable voice of the spotter has warned them about approaching fighters and alerted them to potential targets, though in the interview Mudar deflected praise to those working with him.

But while the man who was an electrician by trade is now an important asset to rebel fighters, he questions the point of the war and the actions of the Syrian government.

“We are surprised why the world is silent about the massacres. Are the Syrian children a Grade C product?” he asked. “What makes us wonder is that if this happened in Israel, and a child or a woman was killed, what would the international reaction be then?”

Syria could soon receive more help from the United States. While plans to send arms to rebels have been held up in Congress, one of the country’s top rebel commanders made a trip last month to the US to appeal for more help. General Salid Idriss, leader of the rebel Supreme Military Council, made a diplomatic trip those in Syria hope will prompt more help.

“I’m sure it will be foremost on the agenda of whatever meetings he (Idriss) has,” said Elizabeth O’Bagy, political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force advocacy group, in the days before the visit. “I’m sure they will talk a lot about conditions on the ground inside Syria, which are very critical.”

Until the Syrians can receive more concrete aid in the form of arms and other tactical supplies, they will continue to rely on the unmistakable voice of the spotter crackling in on two-way radios.

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