As in most of cities in Syria, the Civil Defense branch in Al—Bab city was formed by some local volunteers willing to achieve noble goals by rescuing their brethren. However, after Daesh occupied the city, their affiliates began to arrest and execute dozens of activists and civil defense staff members who were affiliated with the local and revolutionary council, as well as cadres of the coordination committee of Al-Bab.
As the airstrikes intensified on the city, the organization was pushed to release some of the arrested civil defense members on the condition that they must undergo Sharia sessions. Yet, they did not comply with that condition as they were busy with rescue operations on a regular basis due to heavy air raids by both, the Assad regime and the coalition.
They are tasked with several kinds of rescue operations because they have to operate in both, the city and its countryside. The operations include car accidents, extinguishing fire, which are mainly caused by primitive oil refinery methods and have claimed the lives of 8 members of the civil defense.
In September 2014, activists and locals from Al-Bab launched a campaign to support and sustain the team who had announced their inability to pursue their activities in that year due to lack of material supports and equipment, which makes it clear that the organization did abandon the civil defense and left them alone facing the intense airstrikes. The Assad regime carried out four massacres in different areas in Al-Bab in the last month of the year of 2014, killing and wounding 200 civilians. The civil succeeded in rescuing dozens of civilians at that time.
The team lost 7 of their members in an aerial bombing carried out by the Assad regime on one of their headquarters in the city in May 2014. The team had a huge support from the locals which was a source of extreme concern for Assad who attempted to strike more of their gatherings and centers in the region.
In their spare times, the civil defense members conduct awakening sessions to support and train the civilians on how to survive chemical and missile bombing. In addition, the team did not abandon their branches operating in other areas by showing their solidarity which the civil defense team in Al-Qabun, where Assad’s forces perpetrated a massacre against them that led to the death and injury of several of them in November 2014.
After the launching of ‘The Euphurates Shield Operation’, which is aimed at the liberation of Al-Bab from Daesh, the Civil Defense have been tasked with the rescuing of civilians in airstrikes by the Turkish army, the Coalition and Russia, which have caused hundreds of civilian casualties so far.
A large number of civil defense members have been killed for their humanitarian cause to save the civilians who are paying the biggest price in the ongoing war in the city of Al-Bab and its vicinity, which has lasted for more than two months now.
The last two casualties from the civil defense took place on Wednesday, January 19, 2017, in an airstrike by the Turkish army on the city.