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Are they “Terrorists?” Christian Free Syrian Army Brigade Undermines Sectarian Dynamic in Syria



First Christian Unit of FSA Forms


In the midst of reports that Christians are forming their own militias to keep the Free Syrian Army out of their neighborhoods in Aleppo, and that a brigade in Idlib has named itself after the murderous dictator Saddam Hussein (probably for sectarian reasons), a new video has emerged that undermines the sectarian dynamic in Syria.

On Tuesday a video was posted to YouTube announcing the formation of a new battalion in the Free Syrian Army in the Damascus countryside composed entirely of Syrian Christians.

Crosses and Free Syria flags decorate the room as the rebels read their proclamation to the camera.

After posting the video, a friend of mine was nice enough to write out the entire translation of their statement:

“Glory to God in the heavens, and peace on earth, and happiness to the people.

We the youth of the revolution who adhere to the Christian faith hereby proclaim the formation of the ‘Supporters of God’ Battalion in Rif Dimashq, [literally the Damascus countryside, which is one of the 14 governorates of Syria], thus becoming the loyal soldiers and defenders of our land alongside our Muslim brothers and partners, in this country that does not know division or sectarianism, except when uttered by the tongue of this corrupt regime.

This regime does not attribute to God the glory that is His, and [this regime] bears no relation to peace whatsoever. Consequently, we have taken an oath not to return to our churches that have been defiled by the regime until our land is liberated from this tyrannous gang.

We ask God to make us pure of our mistakes, and we ask the Syrian people to be loving and forgiving to each other in order for victory to be our ally. Long live Syria, free and proud!� (Chants of ‘long live Syria, free and proud!’)

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  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    If your purpose is to free your nation from a dictator, why is religious sectarianism important?

    This group simply re enforces the notion that there are all kinds of extremists fighting against the al Assad government, and not all of them will be abe to co exist if al Assad should fall. Mort than likely, they will turn on each other…as they do in any ‘proxy war’ and make the body count in Syria much worse…as most people already believe.

    Is the author trying to say that ‘because there are Christian militants’ it proves that the rebels aren’t militants or Christians can’t be terrorists?

    I am really having a hard time with this notion.

  • Guess

    Aaah, so you ME ‘Christian’ engager!

  • Guess

    What do you mean.

  • Christian-Friend

    Thanks for the info, Robbie. Much appreciated.

  • Robbie Robel

    The Christians of the Middle East descend from the earliest Christian communities and predate Islam. The Assyrians were regarded as heretics by the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox since the 5th century and were cut off.

    Many of the Christian communities in the Middle East follow the rituals of Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy or Nestorianism but follow the Catholic Pope. They have a different history from Western Christians.

  • Elmorocojo

    I don’t see how they are ignorant of M.E. Christianity. A repost isn’t enough to substantiate that claim. I’ve actually heard Assyrian Christians say that they are really Arabs.

    As for the Assyrians, Christian missionaries in the 19th century also played a role in telling Christians who were Nestorian, Chaldean, Jacobitethat they were in fact part of the ancient “Assyrians.”

    I don’t known if extremists dominate the FSA which is largely secular and different than the Salafist groups, ISIS, Jubha, Tawheed, etc.

  • Siusaidh

    They must be suicidal.

  • Christian-Friend

    That’s why I’m indecisive about the Syrian civil war; should we help the dictator or the Islamist-filled Rebels

  • Christian-Friend

    Ok, then can you please tell me what differs a Middle Eastern Christian from a Catholic? I would go to Wikipedia, but it can be inaccurate.

  • Robbie Robel

    It’s obvious that you are as ignorant of Middle Eastern Christianity as you accuse non-Muslims of being of Islam.

  • Robbie Robel

    Obvious ignorance on the part of LoonWatch to the history of Syria’s Assyrian Christians who have long opposed the Assad regime. They are not Arabs. It’s not surprising they would take the name of Saddam Hussein considering he supported their church in Iraq. It all goes back to a schism in the 5th century. Those whose churches accept the Council of Ephesus side with Assad (Catholic, Orthodox). But tokenism does not change the fact extremist Islamists dominate the FSA. From The London Telegraph:

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    I think Emperor meant in a tongue-in-cheek way. This definitely throws a wrench into the arguments of those who say the FSA or all the Rebels are just a bunch of “terrorists.”

  • mindy1

    More like another militia group, but yea terrorists could fit

  • Tanveer Khan

    Thats pretty cool.

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