The following is a statement from the commander of the National Defence Forces in the Syrian Christian city of Al Sqeilbiyyeh, Nabel Alabdalla. Nabel is planning to build a symbolic version of Hagia Sophia in his city on the land that he and his soldiers have defended for 10 years against the terrorist gangs dominated by Al Qaeda and sponsored by the US Coalition, including Turkey (a NATO member state)
For Nabel and Simon, this is about ensuring that the sacrifices of their soldiers and the blood shed by the Syrian Arab Army and allies is not in vain. It is to make sure that everything they defend is sustained for their families, for their country and for the stability of the region. It is to provide a future for their children that is brimming with diversity, tolerance, compassion and secularism – where all faiths coexist without war or externally orchestrated division.