by Jonathan Azaziah
Last week, the gorgeous, picturesque, predominantly Antiochian Orthodox town of Marmarita in Syria’s Wadi al-Nasara (Valley of the Christians) , was in full celebration mode for the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary, also known as Lady Day. Marmarita’s population usually stands at around 2,200 people give or take but when it comes to the holy occasion of what Christians believe to be Lady Maryam’s (A.S.) ascension into Heaven, it balloons into a major tourist attraction in which Christians from across Syria flock to. This year saw more than 20,000 citizens attending and the festivities were as immense as they were joyful and vibrant. It was the biggest gathering since the Zionist war on Syria began and the first time since 2011 that a true, uninterrupted calm prevailed in the town as all the neighboring regions on both sides of the Syrian-Lebanese border were terrorism-free. Most pro-Syria commentators who covered the event rightly pointed out that Zionist media wasn’t merely scant but nonexistent and they also highlighted that had terrorists taken the city, this wouldn’t be possible. What they failed to disclose is WHY Marmarita is able to celebrate and WHO we should be thanking for it.
Nestled in western Syria, the Valley of the Christians –including Marmarita — sits just north of strategic Tal Kallakh. It is from this ultra-vital town that Takfiri terrorist groups, including those who later be absorbed by ISIS, attacked the area with mortars and rockets and persistently attempted to enter the Valley. Not only due to its military importance but also for hateful sectarian reasons as they sought to cleanse all the towns and villages — not to mention Syria itself — of the ancient Christian presence. The Syrian Arab Army steadfastly held off the assaults, led at various points by Tiger Forces Commander Suhail al-Hassan and the legendary Republican Guard warrior Issam Zahreddine (R.A.), but couldn’t dislodge Zion’s Wahhabi proxies due to it being stretched so thin on almost a dozen fronts across Syrian territory. Enter Hizbullah Commander Hamza Ibrahim Haidar aka Al-Hajj Abou Moustafa (R.A.) Embraced by the Syrian Arab Army, the “Ageless Moujahid” designed the asymmetrical battle plan to free Tal Kallakh and protect the vulnerable civilians of Wadi al-Nasara. He then led the offensive that achieved this very goal on June 26th, 2013, ending over 2 years of Takfiri occupation. The Lebanese champion from the Baalbek-Hermel town of Kafrdan was martyred just three days later, fighting for Homs City.
With Hizbullah diverting much of its manpower to the Qalamoun Mountains, the head-chopping, church-burning Takfiriyeen thought the Syrian Arab Army would be too understaffed to put up any further resistance so they made another push towards occupying Wadi al-Nasara in August 2013 to coincide with Lady Day–just a week before the infamous ‘Israeli’-Saudi’ chemical false flag in Ghouta. The lionhearted soldiers of the SAA had picked up valuable guerrilla know-how from Al-Hajj Abou Moustafa (R.A.) however and were completely prepared for the terrorists’ maneuver. Jund al-Sham, a brutal outfit with direct links to the House of Saud, in cooperation with ‘Israeli’-Turkish-CIA-backed Al-Qaeda and the FSA, put more than 400 mercenaries into motion to storm Marmarita and Al-Husn. At least fifteen Syrian Christian civilians were martyred in this criminal move and dozens of others were hurt, mainly women and children. In spite of the bloodshed around them though, Syria’s guardians didn’t budge.
They fought back with an unrelenting counterattack like Hamza Ibrahim Haidar (R.A.) was fighting right alongside them. The combat was most intense. In the end, over 175 Takfiri maniacs — almost half the invasion force — were sent to hell, hundreds more were injured by SAA fire and the rest cowardly fled. The attempt to enter, religiously cleanse and occupy Wadi al-Nasara was officially crushed. And while there have been skirmishes on the far edges of the Homs countryside here and there since then, never again has the region been under any sort of serious threat.
So WHY is Marmarita and the whole of the Valley of the Christians safe and celebratory today? Because Empire-backed Takfiri terrorism was stomped dead in its tracks. And WHO should be thanked up and down for it? The Syrian Arab Army and its chief ally Hizbullah–namely Commander Al-Hajj Abou Moustafa (R.A.)
The Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary in Wadi al-Nasara is a spectacle that should be celebrated by all, not just Christians. Because it is a representation of Syria’s beautiful pluralism; its Muslim-Masihi unity and co-resistance; and its refusal to abandon its cultural and historical identity. Indeed, that Marmarita and all of Wadi al-Nasara stand strong today with their lifestyle totally intact is a victory over Zion and its stratagem to balkanize the Syrian state on ethno-sectarian lines. And to just live… love… celebrate… pray… and feast for Lady Maryam (A.S.) is a triumph on top of that because it’s a missive to the enemies of Bilad al-Sham, Christianity and Islam that Takfirism will never be accepted among Syrians. Never. Live long peacefully and soulfully, o’ Marmarita! Go with Christ (A.S.) and bask in his light, o’ Wadi al-Nasara! God bless you. And God bless your defenders, the SAA and the Lebanese Islamic Resistance, both those who remain on this plane and those who gave their lives for you — and all of us — to know some semblance of a better existence.