Stories about sacrifices of Aleppo citadel's garrison in 1600 days

On Tuesday, the Lebanese Assafir newspaper published a report about steadfastness of the Aleppo citadel's garrison for 1600 days. 

The report, depended on information from Syrian officer and soldiers,  said: "For a week, Syrian soldiers positioned in a military post at the 'Carlton' Hotel near Aleppo citadel were hearing sounds of digging tunnels and they tried to dig a tunnel in another direction to intercept the terrorists, who were digging tunnels, but they failed."

The military leadership ordered the soldiers to withdraw from the post after they had been informed that the sound of digging was very near. But the soldiers decided to stay there in order to prevent terrorists from occupying the hotel.


Staying in the post was their only choice to resist terrorists and the price of their decision was very high as the terrorists exploded the tunnel on May 8th 2014 at 10.17 am [local time] killing all the soldiers and causing damage to the wall of the citadel.

"Bodies of 70 soldiers are still lying under the debris," the paper said, indicating that terrorists carried out 40 explosions in the old city of Aleppo.

It was guerrilla warfare and there were civilians in the city at the start of crisis beside the existence of ancient places, so it was very difficult to  carry out military operation in that area.

Terrorists carried out series of explosions during few hours in order to cut supply routes to the garrison.

Sometime, only 6 soldiers were guarding the citadel and its surrounding and they were able to open a front against the enemy [terrorists].

On December 7th 2016, the citadel's guards walked up stairs of the citadel for the first time after two years and they  prostrated on its floor. "We learned patience from the citadel and from Aleppo residents."

The garrison's departure of the citadel was very difficult but it is less difficult than saying farewell to martyrs.

One of the members of the special forces in the Syrian army told the paper's reporter Zahraa Fares: "The war ended a long time ago and now we have to show our ability to go back to our values… The history will say that one day we were few in numbers and we defended Syria's unity and prevented the fall of the city."


Basma Qaddour