Hundreds of Christian fighters from across Syria joined their local brethren in the majority-Syriac Christian town of Sadad to prevent it falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
A symbol of Christian resistance, Sadad, which lies just 17 kilometers off a strategic highway connecting the capital Damascus and Homs in the west of the country, has faced an onslaught from Daesh and other jihadist militants since late October 2015 as the terrorists advanced across central Syria.
The military command and members of the local militia are fully aware of the fact that the fall of this Orthodox Christian town would effectively cut off Damascus from the rest of the country.
When al-Nusra militants seized the town in 2013 Syria’s Christians chose to stay away from what they sew as a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.
It wasn’t until the jihadists ransacked the ancient Christian monastery at Maaloula that they finally realized that the very same fate awaited their own community.
Shortly afterwards, seven militant Muslim groups joined forces in laying siege to Sadad.
As the jihadists prepared to storm the town its defenders decided to fight to the bitter end. And fight they did until the Syrian Army arrived and drove out the enemy.
With Sadad liberated, the town’s defenders are now setting their sights on Al-Karyatein – another Christian town and the terrorist’s last remaining stronghold in Homs province.
The militants took many locals hostage and threatened to kill them all if the Army decided to storm the town. All of the Christian hostages are now free having either run away or were ransomed out.
After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber in November many in Sadad gathered in the local churches to pray for the Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov who was killed in that unwarranted attack.
Sadad is a peaceful town now, but traces of the recent fighting are everywhere with many houses on the town’s central square pockmarked with deep gouges from ricochets and direct gunfire.