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6:41pm UK, Tuesday February 21, 2012
The British-born activist who has become the face of the Syrian uprising has told Sky News if the international community will not stop the slaughter they should arm the activists to help defeat President Bashar al Assad.
Danny Daayem has arrived in the UK after spending weeks in the besieged city of Homs – videoing attacks by regime forces to try to show the outside world what is happening.
The 23-year-old described seeing children killed in the street – and said he does not care if he dies, as long as the world steps in to help.
The UN estimates at least 5,400 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the 11-month uprising against Mr Assad.
But that figure was given in January and hundreds more have been reported killed since then.
Danny Daayem pictured in Syria (left) and UK
Activists said there has been more government shelling against the rebel stronghold of Homs, with at least 16 people killed, as fears were raised of an imminent ground attack.
The Red Cross has called for a daily two-hour ceasefire in Syria so it can deliver emergency aid and reach people who are wounded or sick.
Mr Daayem, who has dual British-Syrian nationality, said: “If they (the international community) are not going to interfere militarily, then arm the Free Syrian army.
“They need heavy weapons and would then defeat the Assad regime and get control of the country.
“Half the weapons they get in don’t work. With all that, they are still defending and standing.”
Danny Daayem posted a series of videos from Homs
Mr Daayem, who has a British mother and a Syrian father, said the house he was sleeping in was hit by a rocket.
He said: “You can’t cross the streets. Every time you want to cross the street, you have to run, the sniper will shoot you.
“And if you try to take away a body you will be shot too.
“In Homs, it is a crime against humanity what Assad is doing. Also it is a crime against humanity that no-one is interfering, just watching it happen.
“It is just becoming a number. ‘One hundred dead today, 70 dead tomorrow’. We are just becoming a number
“You get used to rockets, snipers, being shelled at – no food, no medication.
“If a doctor tries to come in to help us, they will shoot him, or torture him to death. The Red Crescent tried to come in and they (Assad forces) shot three ambulances.”
His mother, Helen Abdul Dayem, told Sky News: “The most horrific thing is to imagine what he is seeing every day because he does videos of people who have been so desperately injured, with half their faces missing.
“I think my 23-year-old-son is having to look at this, and that is heartbreaking.”
She added: “A couple of weeks back they hit the field hospital and there were literally piles of bodies.
“You find yourself watching TV, going through the videos on Facebook, seeing if you recognise your own son’s boots or you own son’s shirt in amongst the mess.
“And then suddenly the green light comes on on Skype and you think he is still alive because he is talking to somebody.”
In one of his videos, he is inside a house he says is in the Baba Amr district of Homs.
He points to group of small children huddled together, one bandaged around the head and face and with blood on their t-shirt.
He angrily speaks to the camera, saying: “Look at these children. Is this is how the Assad regime is supposed to treat our children? Now you see that the Assad regime is killing children.
“What is the UN going to do about this? What is the UN going to do about this? Nothing. They’re going to sit and discuss… they want to solve it peacefully, with this murderer.”