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 challenges the sectarian narrative 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. It is posted below along with the video:
“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!’)