Syrian rebel town buries goalkeeper who became ‘singer of the revolution’

1 / 6
Syrians waving rebel flags and portraits of Abdelbasset Al-Sarout during the rebel fighter's funeral in Al-Dana, Idlib region, near the border with Turkey. (AFP)
2 / 6
Abdelbasset Al-Sarout the former Syrian national soccer goalkeeper turned anti-government fighter. (AP)
3 / 6
Syrians waving rebel flags and portraits of Abdelbasset Al-Sarout during the rebel fighter's funeral in Al-Dana, Idlib region, near the border with Turkey. (AFP)
4 / 6
The funeral of Abdelbasset Al-Sarout, the former goalkeeper turned rebel fighter, in Al-Dana, Idlib. (AFP)
5 / 6
A convoy of Syrians follow the truck carrying the coffin of late rebel fighter Abdelbasset Al-Sarout, near the Syrian border with Turkey. (AFP)
6 / 6
The funeral of Abdelbasset Al-Sarout, the former goalkeeper turned rebel fighter, in Al-Dana, Idlib. (AFP)
Updated 09 June 2019
0

Syrian rebel town buries goalkeeper who became ‘singer of the revolution’

  • Abdelbasset Al-Sarout, 27, died on Saturday from wounds he sustained in northwest Syria
  • Known as the 'singer of the revolution' for chanting ballads that eulogized slain activists and vilified Bashar Assad

AL-DANA, Syria: Thousands of people flocked to the funeral on Sunday of a Syrian soccer star turned fighter who became an icon of the revolt against President Bashar Assad.
Abdelbasset Al-Sarout, 27, died on Saturday from wounds he sustained in northwest Syria, where an army offensive has pounded the last major rebel bastion for weeks.
Once a well-known goalkeeper from the city of Homs, Sarout gained a new kind of fame when the popular uprising against Assad’s rule erupted in 2011. He was dubbed the “singer of the revolution” for chanting ballads at rallies that eulogized slain activists and vilified the president.


After Assad’s iron-fisted crackdown on the protests, Sarout took up arms and became a wanted man. His path mirrored the uprising’s spiral into an armed fight to the death between Damascus and the myriad militias and guerrilla bands that the conflict spawned.
Sarout was moved from a hospital in Turkey, which backs the opposition, across the border on Sunday, with a convoy of cars and motorcycles following the coffin into Syria.
People chanted, honked and waved rebel flags on the way to the funeral in the border town of Al-Dana, where one of Sarout’s brothers is buried.
Four of Sarout’s brothers and his father had already died fighting pro-government forces.


Crowds stood on the roofs to watch Sarout’s body, wrapped in white, being carried through the town. Rebels from his faction, Jaish Al-Izza, fired into the air.
In the mosque, men including fighters in combat uniform kneeled in front of his body to pray, some of them weeping.
“We all know Sarout’s songs and golden vocals. Today is a big loss, a sad day for the Syrian revolution. We lost one of its icons,” said Ali Al-Zajel, an activist at the funeral.
With Russian and Iranian help, Assad’s military has reclaimed much of Syria by crushing opposition enclaves in recent years.
Sarout was among hundreds of thousands of civilians and insurgents shuttled to the northwest under surrender deals as the army reconquered their hometowns.
Sarout, who fought government forces in his home city, left under such a deal in 2014 after a bitter two-year siege.
As rebel factions struggled with infighting and the growing influence of Muslim jihadists, Sarout was accused of switching his allegiance to Islamic State, which he denied in a video in 2015.


Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

Updated 44 min 40 sec ago

Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

  • Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen
  • appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs

DUBAI: President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on Thursday evening appointing new foreign and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle to lead the key state institutions.

In a statement, the president's office, based in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, said that Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, succeeding Hafedh Meyyad and Salem bin Breik as Minister of Finance, succeeding Minister Al-Fadhli.

The Yemeni president also appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Khalid Al-Yamani, who resigned last June.

Al-Fadhli becomes the fourth governor of the central bank since its relocation in Aden from the Houthi controlled capital, Sanaa.

The reshuffle comes amid escalating tension between the Hadi’s government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council (STC) that seized Aden and other neighboring provinces.