Journalist Osama Abu Zeid, who now works for Syria Direct from Jordan, writes of the day that a regime general threatened him and his family:

In May 2012, my family fled to Damascus after regime forces took our home during a battle for Bab al-Draib, our neighborhood in Homs. Our streets were being shelled intensely. It would start early in the morning, dropping on us like rain. We also had a hard time going anywhere because of both the shelling and unseen snipers. Tanks sat stationed on street corners.

My family left for the Barzeh district of the Syrian capital, where some of our relatives were living, and rented an apartment there. We later found out that the shabiha, pro-government militias, pillaged the houses in our neighborhood and burned some of them to the ground.

The day they fled, I stayed behind to work as a pro-opposition citizen journalist. I had moved to Old Homs, the Hamidiyeh neighborhood, also an active battlefield.

My cell phone rang. It was a general from the Air Force Intelligence Directorate, who began to speak to me at great length about where my family was going in Barzeh, along with other details about them and myself. I was shocked. He even told me the exact location of the secret place from where I was conducting interviews.

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