Fort Russ – 10th January, 2016
Ma’arat Al-Nu’man is a historical city in the heart of the Idlib Governorate; it is well-known for its rich archeological history that dates back to the Medieval Times. However, the city that used to attract many western tourists is now a Jihadist stronghold controlled by the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Since its capture by the Jihadists in the Spring of 2014, Ma’arat Al-Nu’man has transformed into a city that is heavily indoctrinated in Shari’ah Law.
On Saturday morning, the Russian Air Force greeted the Jihadist forces controlling Ma’arat Al-Nu’man with a series of powerful airstrikes at the city’s Central Prison, killing over 20+ militants, including the defected Air Force officer, Colonel Fayez Al-Hussein. Following the Russian Air Force’s precise airstrikes, western publications and the Islamists attempted to depict a completely different series of events. Alleging the Russians killed mostly civilians at the Ma’arat Al-Nu’man Central Prison; this raised the question: why were civilians imprisoned there in the first place? The building could barely sustain the Jihadists mortar shells in the Spring of 2014, so the idea that it would provide shelter to civilians is out of the question.