Moon of Alabama – June 9, 2019
Western media currently publish glorifying obituaries for a Syrian ‘rebel’ who is know for extreme sectarianism and for being a member of a Jihadi group that is aligend with al-Qaeda.
The Associated Press, the BBC, the Guardian and analysts all write of Abdul Baset al-Sarout who yesterday died of wounds he received two days earlier when his group attacked Syrian government forces.
Abdul Baset al-Sarout, 27, rose to fame as a goalkeeper for his home city of Homs and won international titles representing his country. When peaceful protests broke out against Mr. al-Assad in 2011, Mr. al-Sarout led rallies and became known as the “singer of the revolution” for his ballads.
When Syria slid into civil war, Mr. al-Sarout took up arms. He led a unit of fighters against government forces and survived the government siege of Homs.
A Syrian footballer who became a symbolic figure in the rebellion against the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has died of wounds suffered in a battle with government forces.
Hassan Hassan, an often quoted ‘analyst’ in Washington DC, tweets:
Hassan Hassan @hxhassan – 4:11 PM – 8 Jun 2019
Some individuals celebrated as heroes make you doubt all stories of heroes in history books. Others, like Abdulbasit Sarout, not inspire of but despite his flaws, make those stories highly plausible. He’s a true legend & his story is well documented. May his soul rest in peace
There were rumours that Mr Sarout subsequently pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
He denied this, but admitted he had considered the idea when IS seemed the only force strong enough to combat the government – a sign of how the rebel cause disintegrated.
“He was both a popular figure, guiding the rebellion, and a military commander,” said Maj. Jamil al-Saleh, leader of the rebel group Jaish al-Izza, in which Mr. al-Sarout was a commander. “His martyrdom will give us a push to continue down the path he chose and to which he offered his soul and blood as sacrifice.”
The above may leave readers with a few questions.
Q: What ‘ballads’ did the “singer of the revolution” sing?
A March 2012 video shows al-Sarout taking to the stage at a demonstration in the part of Homs that he and other ‘rebels’ occupied.
Abdul Baset al-Sarout chants slogans each of which the crowd then repeats:
We are all Jihadis.
Homs has made its decision.
We will exterminate the Alawites.
And the Shiites have to leave.
Q: What made al-Sarout a “symbolic figure”?
Sarout appeared as a main persona in a pro-Jihadi propagada documentary that mainstream media hyped:
Filmed during two years, from 2011 to 2013, this by turns exhilarating and devastating documentary tracks some key players in the resistance against Bashir al-Assad’s regime. The foremost is Abdul Baset al-Sarout, once a goalkeeper for Syria’s national youth football team, he is a charismatic character who starts out leading chants in the streets in 2011 and ends up becoming a battle-worn leader for the militia.
Q: What were the ‘flaws’ the ‘true legend’ al-Sarout allegedly had?
While al-Sarout did not mind suicide bombings and called for mass murder of people of other beliefs his drug fuelled style of life was not pure enough to be accepted by the Islamic State.
From a 2014 interview (vid) with the ‘charismatic character’ recorded shortly before the Syrian Arab Army removed al-Sarout and his group from Homs: