Syria deeply ©dona bozzi

Kafr Hamrah

One of the front lines of Aleppo is at Kafr Hamrah, between 2 buildings, not even one kilometer from one another, in the countryside in the northwestern suburbs of Aleppo.

One of these buildings is under the Free Syrian Army, the other the government. The katiba (battalion) defending the FSA’s building is The revolutionaries of Manbij, one of the most respected and effective katibas in Aleppo. Within the FSA, this katiba operates under the banner of Al-Tawhid. Every katiba has a Mullah, also a combatant, to teach the fighters not to steal from and not to hurt the people in captured territories. This katiba also has a doctor, a pharmacist, a teacher of primary school, and a mechanic. The head quarters are in a magnificent Scarface-style of villa, complete with dried out swimming pool,  that the revolutionaries have taken over from whom was wealthy enough to escape the remains of murder. We meet the anti dictatorship children crusaders at breakfast; in not yet beard peaked Aleppo, some boys have grown enough hair to look, at best, rogue bandits on the margin: the mujahid children are not going to carry out jihad, just practicing the business of home made insurgence.


Anas Alhaj, our fixer, with the Relief Committee of the Council of the Aleppo Governorate, said it’s a good thing that Hezbollah, the party of satan, and Iran , came to fight on Bashar’s side and show their true colors to the Sunni of Free Syria, who now know who they really are. In fact, before the revolution, the Sunni of Syria used to love Hezbollah, because they also were Israel’s enemy . ” Even Iran was not an enemy”. In his fervor, Anas disregarded that Hezbollah did remain Israel’s enemy, even if, in the topsy turvy politics of the Middle East, having a common enemy doesn’t necessarily make an alliance. In the previously luxurious headquarters, Commander Abu Farouk, one of the most respected leaders of the FSA in Aleppo, candidly declared a nom de guerre: who would give his real name to a journalist in Kafr Hamrah, anyway?

Before taking us to the front line, he coached us word-by-word to recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance  of Muhammad as God’s prophet.  That would make us, just in case, die Muslim: “Ashhado ana La Eelaha eLa Alah, wa ana Mohamad rasool Allah”, There is no God like Allah, Mohammed is the prophet of Allah”.

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The “front line” is about a five-kilometer drive from the villa. We climbed to the top of the building. A rebel showed us the blood, on the stairs, of the last body that was dragged out, about a week ago, they say. On the top, two awfully young boys kept on guard, seated by the open wall, neck paralyzed  to tthe back of the chairs, looking into a broken mirror reflecting the enemy’s position.We asked Abu if he could tell, from the shouts from the other building, who was on the other side. ” Mostly Farsi, from the Basij, (the militia established in 1979 by
Ayatollah Kohmeini) and thepasdaran (the Iranian Revolutionary Guard)”, he replied. Lebanese accents, Iraqi and Yemeni Shia. Turkish spoken by Turkish Alawites, and some Russian, probably spoken by Kazakistani, whose country is eighty per cent shia.

“When we shout Allahu Akbar, we hear scared voices from the other side shouting “Oh Hussien, oh Fatima”. (Hussien was the son of Ali Bin Abu Talep, the cousin and son- in- law of the prophet Mohammah. Fatima was the daughter of Mohammad)”. They can hear the Rafidah, (the shia), by ingeniously tweaking the wavelengths of their sort of old fashioned walkie-talkies.


“These gadgets are part of the “non lethal aid” just supplied by the US”, together with MRE (meals ready to eat),   he added ironically with a grin, a subtle smile, The “Friends of Free Syria” did not open the gates yet to flood Free Syria with the MIM – 104 Patriot anticraft!  Commander Abu Faruk is kind enough to take us back after a few camera shots, besides those aiming at us from the oppositebuilding.  However, before we left, we had one last question for him: – Wasn’t it wicked of Al Zawahri (head of Al Qaeda) to urge the merging of the State of Iraq and the Sham with the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, Al Nusra? Trying to deter arm shipments to the moderates by further contaminating the opposition resulted in augmented hesitation by the west to support the revolution all together. In fact, Al-Zawahiri himself had to retract the invitation following the wackiness committed by the network of death. Commander Abu Faruk, a military man and not a politician, didn’t have an opinion on this: he’s a Muslim revolutionary from the FSA, and doesn’t give a damn about the IS.

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