Abu Naser, a patriot soldier
Despite the menacing look of one of the fighters, this man’s emotions gave him away. Abu Naser has a wife and two children, whom he sees once every three days. Prior to joining the Syrian Army, he worked as a clerk. He hopes that the war will end as soon as possible, so that he’d be able to return to his family and civil work. Recalling the horrid events that changed his life, Naser said:
I joined the ranks after they bombed my house in Homs. There were dozens of dead and wounded; scattered body parts everywhere.
Another soldier named Basil toted an RPG-7 grenade launcher. In civilian life, Basil was a graduate of the Faculty of Law from Deir ez-Zor. He hasn’t his family for the past 4 years because his relatives live in the occupied part of the city, so, it’s almost impossible to meet them. Basil told us:
I look at their pictures and it warms me. I’d like to bring the fight to my hometown, to be near my relatives.
As the soldiers told their stories, there were constant explosions of bombs and sounds of machine guns, but they paid no attention to all that. They said that these sounds don’t scare them. What’s really scary is when the locals switch their loyalties and join the ranks of the militants. The soldiers told us that these locals then convey everything they see to the terrorists and that’s a real stab-in-the-back. Abu Mahmud, another soldier, said:
Every day, the militants try to merge with the civilian population and enter government-controlled territory. We risk our lives trying to stop the terrorists from doing so.
Abu Abdulla from Homs said:
The terrorists killed my seventeen year-old son because they called me a “traitor” and he refused to join Daesh. I love my country and don’t want the destruction to continue. I want to liberate my country from the terrorists so that peaceful life returns to our homes.
A volunteer soldier named Khalid, originally from Raqqa, said:
My family lives in a Daesh-controlled area. As soon as I managed to escape from there, I immediately went to the Syrian Army. The terrorists threatened us with beheadings and other punishments. However, our will is stronger. We’ll win.
29 November 2016