Jamal al-Din al-Abdullah - Latakia Bird hunting in the Syrian forests used to be illegal, the mere acquisition of a hunting rifle was enough offence to get the owner in jail. But when the fight reached the countryside of Latakia and the regime forces besieged the Kurds and the Turkmen mountains, people started hunting blackbird and quails to make up for food shortage.
Mohammed, one of the hunters, bought a hunting rifle to feed his family members who were on the brink of starving. He maintains that hunting is not his profession, and that he goes hunting once a week. He adds that he’s paying large sums for hunting bullets whose prices have rocketed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. "Sometimes we go hunting under the rain and snow because we have to make a living.
Usually when the weather is nice, the clashes and the shelling start scaring the birds away.” Killing for food not for sport is the policy of the hunters who are trying to find ways to feed their families in these difficult conditions.
Mohammed says he feels guilty when shooting any bird. He tells us that when the revolution triumph, he would stop hunting; "We will take care of the birds because our sad generation needs the beauty of their voices."