The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimated Syria’s death toll at 340,124 casualties as of October 16, 2015. A minimum of 87,312 and up to 132,000 account for losses within the Syrian military, yet very little has been heard about them.
Below is a translation of a Facebook post by Tarek Kholy, who gives us an account on what it means to be one of the soldiers who have to go through this ordeal.
There’s no happiness left in this country, and if there is, it’s not meant to last.
We, the Homeland Protectors, are more unlucky than civilians. Civilians leave the country when they lose hope, whereas we adapt by challenging the gunmen until we receive a random bullet that spares us from living in this disgusting world.
Many of our comrades happily became martyrs, for in this they were spared the ordeal of watching what’s happening in our country. Many others long for the same moment, so that their hearts may cool off.
We’re under a pressure that could bring down mountains.
People ask us to be normal in a life that’s anything but normal. Our martyrs fall as great men, yet they leave behind damaged friends and families.
[Before they died], I heard their phones ringing when their mothers called. A lucky one would receive a call from a lover that warmed his night, but sometimes she called to say goodbye. No one but himself can handle his own hardship.
We’re only remembered after we die. This is how we live.
We always wonder about God’s wisdom of tutoring us before we’re taken away.
The situation goes from bad to worse in a world where we no longer know whom to blame.