The hero who saved Aleppo

Written by William Abdallah

This is the story of Bassel Karful one of the thousands of  the brave martyrs  who fought and died for Syria. Bassel was from Tartous. Everyone who knew him said  that he was a joyful always smiling young man whose love for this family has no equal except his love for his homeland. 

His ardent patriotism was the key in making this rather humble guy a hero of legendary status. He destroyed three explosive laden trucks and stood his ground against a fourth that the terror groups have used to attack the army’s post. Those heroic acts earned him his spot amongst the greatest in heaven.

It was by mere coincidence that Bassel manned the ” Metis ” ATGM platform instead of his comrade Ahmad Abbas who was on leave in Tartous due to his uncle’s death. 

Soldiers received orders to move and to ready themselves after the arrival of certain intelligence of an impeding attack by armed gangs from eastern Idleb aimed at storming Aleppo using four explosives laden BMPs.

While Bassel was busy alongside fellow soldier Khatib in preparing the atgm platform, his friend Ahmad Abbas called him to inform him that he arrived in Aleppo, was aware of the impeding battle and that he was coming to replace Bassel in manning the atgm platform.

Bassel answered the call albeit he was busy and told his friend to rest , have something to eat and then join his brothers in their position.

Ahmad answered that he ate and was in no need to rest informing Bassel that he will join him right away in the al Zahraa residential area .

Soon all hell broke loose.  The armed gangs attacked covered by intensive bombardment. Civilians were fleeing . Khattib was severely wounded and was martyred .Bassel was hit in the shoulder. Abbas Hussein replaced Khattib. Bassel fired a missile on the first terrorist used BMP that was racing towards the residential neighborhood and blew it up.

Ahmad Abbas from distance was urging Bassel to retreat alongside the civilians.

” It’s too late my brother, the armed men are nearby and their ” cri de guerre” are deafening” was Bassel’s answer to Ahmad’ pleas to retreat. 

Bassel   managed to destroy two more explosives laden BMPs. The terrorists were coming close to where Bassel was.  Abbas who was a soldier in the Syrian Center for Scientific Research and not an ATGM expert aided Bassel in destroying three of the four BMPs the armed gangs used. 

The fourth detonated before Bassel and Abbas were able to arm a missile. The wave of the massive explosion threw them both of the top of the building in different areas. Bassel fell on the tile roof of a ground floor . The fall was excruciatingly painful. Bassel fell on his back losing the ability to move his broken legs

Soldiers were approaching , Bassel still motionless on the tile floor right next to the armed men. Abbas legs were  crushed. A girl hiding in her house snuck out and tried to pull Abbas away but failed to do so because of his heavy weight, so she wrapped his legs with ointments and tissues and went back to her house eventually feeling relieved after seeing Abbas’ friends reaching him

Ahmad, soldier Yamen Sabbagh and first warrant officer Abu Ali Mahdi who is an old man reached Abbas with Abu Ali staying near him while Yamen and Ahmad continued advancing towards Bassel covered by heavy fire from a soldier stationed a little further away, firing frantically trying to open a passageway for them to reach Bassel quickly. Bassel stared at the blurry sky motionless, hearing his friends calling him. He didn’t answer out of fear of exposing his whereabouts to the gunmen lurking nearby.

 With the gunmen retreating and the army advancing, Ahmad reached a  building rooftop. Looking down he saw Bassel lying on  his back on the brick floor. Seeing Ahmad , Bassel slightly moved his hand as a sign that he was still alive. Ahmed hurried downstairs and tried to reach  Bassel quickly but  failed to do so because of the heavy presence of the gunmen near him. 

All became clear for Bassel. The sky was as clear as  tears falling from his mother’s eyes, a breeze making similar tunes to those of summer nights sea waves, sounds of the advancing army towards him  were like of birds singing that he used to hear in his peaceful village in Drekish countryside.  

Suddenly all turned into a heavy silence with the sky covered in darkness. A gunman was standing above Bassel, after noticing him. Bassel did not move trying to trick the gunman into believing he was dead. That did not work.  The terrorists used to shoot even martyred soldiers disrespecting the sanctity of Death. He pointed his gun at Bassel’s head who bravely kept his eyes open as did the valiant soldiers of al Kindi Hospital before him at the moment of their cold blooded execution.

The sound of a bullet tore the fearful silence that reigned for moments. That bullet landed in Bassel’s head followed by another one right in the middle of his heart. Those bullets ended the life of a man who has just saved Aleppo thanks to his belief, strength, patience and determination.

Finally the soldiers reached Bassel, Ahmed ran towards him and put his hand on his face then neck. He didn’t even dare to think only lifting him with the help of his comrades running towards an  ambulance that drove them to an hospital. There a doctor told them that Bassel was martyred.

Martyr Bassel Karful from Tartous/ AlDrekich /

Bouwaydat AlZamam

Injured Abbas AlHussayn from Hama/Mysiaf

Ahmad Abbas from Tartous/Masaken El-isment

Yemen Sabbagh from ElQurdaha

Abou Ali Mahdi from ElFoua

Martyr Khattib from Noubol

***

Written by William Abdallah for the Syrian Arab Army Facebook page. 

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