Syrian army soldier’s letter sparks online debate

Regime supporters condemned Damascus’s failure to save its soldiers trapped inside Idlib’s Abu a-Duhur military airport on Wednesday after Jabhat a-Nusra published photos of rooms crowded with Syrian army soldiers captured at the airbase.

"The only solution is to put the sons of the ministers, the dogs, in every encircled position, and then reinforcements will come," suggested one commenter on pro-regime news page Latakia Now.

While other commenters expressed praise for regime soldiers, others denounced military leaders’ neglect of soldiers, saying “we need an honorable military leader who fears for the sons of the country as for his own sons.”

The comments came in reaction to a letter republished by the page purportedly written by an army soldier at another besieged airbase to “all the saints alive and martyred at Abu a-Duhur.”

The letter originated with the Facebook account of Mayn Issa, a regime soldier allegedly trapped inside the Kweiris airport, encircled since May 2014.

The author questions regime leadership: “If your excuse [for not acting] was the bad weather, why didn't you seize the chance of appropriate weather over the past two years?" referring to the dust storm that gave Nusra the upper hand in capturing the airport.

The letter had nearly two hundred shares 18 hours after publishing.

While none of the remarks directly criticized President Bashar al-Assad, one commenter thought it was a message the president should read.

“Friends, share this message in the hope the president will read it, as the high officials are lying to us and trafficking in our lives.”

- Photo courtesy of 

Ammar Hamou

Ammar Hammou is from Douma city in outer Damascus. He studied journalism at Damascus University and left Syria in 2011.

James Bowker

James Bowker graduated from Tufts University in 2013 with a double major in Arabic Language & Middle Eastern Studies. He has previously worked with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) study-abroad program and as a remote translator for the Article 25 Right to Health campaign.