I have previously written about the Hama-based Local Defence Forces affiliate Quwat Abu Ja'afar ('Forces of Abu Ja'afar'). On 8 December 2019, I interviewed a member of the group about his experiences. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: When were you born and when did you first bear arms against the insurgents?
A: I was born in 1988. I have borne arms for five years. I fought first with the air intelligence, and now with the friends [al-'asdiqa].
Q: In which areas have you fought and where are you fighting currently?
A: al-Zalaqiyat [in north Hama], Halfaya [north Hama], Deir az-Zor al-Mayadeen, and now currently in Palmyra.
Q: How do you assess the situation in Syria today?
A: Syria today if God wills will return as it was before and better, and God protect the Syrian Arab Army and every noble person in this land and protect his excellency President Bashar al-Assad.