Thursday, February 6, 2014

al-Akhbar: Syria’s Valley of the Christians Under Fire

From al-Akhbar English.

Syria’s Valley of the Christians Under Fire

by Firas Choufi

The fierce battles between the Syrian army and armed extremist groups in the town of Zara, surrounding the Krak des Chevaliers, are echoing throughout Wadi al-Nasara, which is Arabic for the Valley of the Christians. Each day, the villages in the valley bury new victims. Those who have not fled have now resolved never to abandon Syria.


Most of the Christians who remain in the region are not banking on salvation to come from Western Christendom. Those who have not fled say they now prefer to die here as opposed to receiving the “White Man’s charity,” anyway.

Tony, who works at a shawarma restaurant in the village of Hawash, does not want to leave. Like him, the mother of Hossam, from the village of Hanbara, who was killed in the conflict, wants to stay close to his grave so she can visit him every day. Countless others like them want to stay, too. Syria is the only home they have.

During a January 29 attack on a National Defense checkpoint in the town of Ammar al-Hosn, the militants took great joy in mutilating the bodies of the troops who had been manning the checkpoint. They gouged the eyes of one corpse and beheaded another, taking the head with them.
Over the past several weeks, the militants beheaded many others, including fighters from the National Defense Forces, an SSNP fighter named Hanna Karam, and also civilians, most recently a young man named Fadi Matta, from Marmarita.

Some come from universities, others from their jobs in restaurants, farming, and various other professions. One of the fighters said, “Life on the battlefield robs you of everything. You only think about killing militants or imagining yourself dead.”


Read the whole article here!

For coverage of Syriac Christian militias fighting alongside the Kurds in the Northeast, see here.

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