Reports | 25 05 2020
"The copper band was followed by the coffin, the women of the neighborhood threw rice, the girls threw roses, the dead body of my son was covered with the flag, the same flag that a senior officer folded and handed over to my husband after the burial. We have put the flag in his closet with his clothes. A large photo of him when he graduated from the military college as a Senior lieutenant was hanging on the wall in front of his closet, and next to it, it was his photo when he was a child," Umm Ali says in an interview with Rozana Radio.
Ali was killed with a large group of his colleagues in an attack by the opposition factions about a year ago in eastern Hama: "He was in love with a young woman who was studying at university, and we were thinking of getting them engaged, while he was delaying it. He knew his life was short. He had always said that we, military officers, should not get married, for our lives vanish so shortly," says Umm Ali.
“I visit the two saints in my village, I kindle the incense, and I breathe from the holy air, I believe that the spirit of my son is hovering around me now. What comforts me and alleviates my sorrow is that I see him in my dreams. I see him in many appearances. The last time I saw him, he appeared with his military uniform, I saw him getting ready to meet his girlfriend, and saw him holding a present during the last Mother’s Day he attended with us,” says Umm Ali.
Umm Ali does not attend any funeral in the village where she lives. She cannot. "I start crying and I get a painful feeling that I am losing my son again," says Umm Ali.
Naji was killed in Ghouta after an opposition faction attacked a military post, killing more than twenty officers of the regime's army, who graduated in the same military session.
"The day the ambulance arrived carrying his body and stopped in front of our house, and the day when men fired in space, I thought this was for another mother, another family, especially since we always have martyrs in our village." I watched neutrally, as if I were not his mother. I walked with the funeral. I saw all the faces. As days went on, I started to feel a strange silence, despite all the hustle and bustle my family and my neighbors surrounded me with, I often and again pinched myself because I thought I was in a dream," says Umm Naji.
"I feel like I am suffocating now, I can now feel his absence, I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, nothing in my life today has a taste. I'm willing to die, I want to go to him, I want to see my son. I am faithful and my religion prohibits me from killing myself, but I want to die, I hope to die today before tomorrow comes," adds Umm Naji.
Death news of soldiers and officers in all the regime-controlled areas have been circulating every day, through Facebook pages that are interested in the matter. These pages publish news and stories that differ from the general nature that characterizes them.
The pro-regime Facebook page Akhbar Al-Masyaf (Masyaf News) has mentioned that Al Saleh family has lost the sixth son and published a photo of the mother holding a picture of her five children who were killed in Syria. The page also mentioned that the mother became a mother of six "martyrs" with the loss of the sixth child.
The page earlier published a photo of the soldier Ibrahim Salloum, who was injured in Daraa, and is now unable to serve himself and needs his mother to feed him.
The page asked for the military authorities’ help in treating the injured soldier, and mentioned that the soldier’s mother has lately lost two of her sons.
One of the commentators on the page demanded that a ministry be allocated to "the martyrs and the wounded" and that a large budget be allocated to it so that it can carry out its duties in taking care of the families of the "martyrs and the wounded." Another commentator demanded that the ministry be strictly controlled so that its budget would not be stolen, and to make sure that it is spent on the wounded and "martyrs" and their families, as the commentator mentioned.
"In the village of Asilah in the countryside of Hama, more than 400 young men have so far been killed in the seven-year-old war. The village has almost lost all its young men and adults. About 400 mothers have buried their sons and received the regime’s flag after the burial. It is the same situation in the village of Bustan Al-Basha in the countryside of Latakia, where a whole generation does not appear in the squares of the village, everyone over the age of 20 and under 45 has almost vanished, either engaged in the war; buried under the dust; in the mountains; or taking refuge in a neighboring country or in a distant one, " says Ayham, Syrian opposition member living in the regime-controlled areas.