Abdul Baset al-Sarout

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Abdul Baset al-Sarout
Personal information
Date of birth (1992-01-02)January 2, 1992
Place of birth Homs, Syria
Date of death June 8, 2019(2019-06-08) (aged 27)
Place of death Reyhanlı, Turkey
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Years Team
?–2011 Al-Karamah
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Syria U17
2009–2010 Syria U20
Abdul Baset al-Sarout
Allegiance Syrian opposition
Jaysh al-Izza
Years of service2012–2019
UnitBayada Martyrs' Brigade[1]
Battles/warsSyrian Civil War

Abdul Baset al-Sarout (Arabic: عبد الباسط الساروت‎; January 2, 1992 – June 8, 2019) was a Syrian association football goalkeeper. He represented his country at the Syria U17 and Syria U20 level.


In addition to being a soccer star, he led demonstrations in his home town Homs, where for a period of time he hosted the actress Fadwa Soliman, with whom he held[2] rallies demanding the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as other general demands of the Syrian uprising. As violence erupted between pro and anti-government groups, all four of his brothers were killed by Syrian security forces. His uncle, Mohiey Edden al-Sarout, was killed In November 2011 in Homs.[3] He became well known for his chants during anti-government demonstrations. Initially, his speeches and chants were mostly nationalist in nature, but in line with the rising influence of islamism among Syrian rebel groups, they gradually adopted more overtly religious and sectarian undertones.[4] During the Siege of Homs from 2011–14, he became a Syrian rebel commander.[5]

The Arab-speaking media network Al Jazeera described him as a "well known icon in the Syrian uprising",[6] as well as "the Guardian of the Revoltion".[7][8] After the disintegration of the Free Syrian Army, he became a commander in the Islamist rebel group Jaysh al-Izza.[9][10]

Al-Sarout survived at least three assassination attempts during his role as a rebel commander. During one attempt 50 fighters from his unit, the Bayada Martyrs' Brigade, were killed.[1] He was featured in the 2013 war documentary The Return to Homs.[11]

In 2014, he was among the rebels evacuated from Homs to the rebel-held Idlib Governorate by the Syrian government, following the surrender deal that ended the Siege of Homs.[12][13]

In November 2015, al-Sarout and the Bayada Martyrs' Brigade came into conflict with al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front. Nusra attacked Sarout and his fighters over a claim that Sarout had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[14] Al-Sarout denied the claim, but admitted he had considered joining ISIL, as he started viewing the jihadist group as the only force capable of fighting the Syrian Government.[15] He stated that he gave up on joining the group after realizing that it was primarily concerned with setting up a caliphate, rather than fighting the government. He added that while he didn't join the militant group, he would also refuse to fight against it.[16]

On 29 May 2017, Sarout was arrested by Tahrir al-Sham after being accused of participating in an anti-HTS protest in Maarat al-Nu'man.[17] He was released on 24 June and charges against him were dropped.[18]


He died on 8 June 2019, during the 2019 Northwestern Syria offensive, after engaging in combat with the Syrian Army at Tell Malah village.[19][9][10][12][20] According to a Jayish al-Izza spokesperson, as well as the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, he died in a Turkish hospital in Reyhanlı, Hatay from wounds sustained two days prior,[21] when he was struck by Syrian Army artillery, after his unit clashed with the army in northern Hama.[22][20][23] He was taken a day later to the village of Al-Dana in rebel-held northwestern Syria, to be buried with one of his deceased brothers.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Document: rebel commander robs 2.3 Million $ allocated to break Homs Siege". Zaman al-Wasl. 16 June 2014.
  2. ^ Saka20100 (2011-11-08), الفنانه فدوى سليمان في قلب المظاهرات في البياضه-حمص, retrieved 2019-06-09
  3. ^ "Abdul Baset Al-Sarout - Songs of the Syrian Revolution". 24 August 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Syrian Soccer Star, Symbol of Revolt, Dies After Battle". The New York Times. 2019-06-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  5. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Syrian goalkeeper takes a stand in Homs as national side aim for Olympics". Telegraph. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Abdul Baset Al Sarout Live Blog". AlJazeera.net. 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  7. ^ "The Departure of Abul Baset Al Sarout, the gaurdian of the revolution". AlJazeera.net. 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Syria reacts to Arab League suspension – Sunday 13 November 2011". Guardian. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  9. ^ a b Desk, News (2019-06-08). "Former Syrian National Team member turned rebel commander reportedly dead after Hama battle". AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  10. ^ a b "Syrian football goalie who became rebel icon dies in battle". www.egyptindependent.com. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  11. ^ "The Return To Homs". Proaction/Ventana Films. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Star soccer player turned rebel icon dies in Syria fighting". Reuters. 2019-06-08. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  13. ^ "Syrian footballer, singer and rebel Abd al-Basset al-Sarout killed in northern Syria". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  14. ^ "Nusra turns guns on rebels in effort to capture 'only corridor' into blockaded north Homs". Syria Direct. 4 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Syrian 'rebel icon' dies after clashes". 2019-06-08. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  16. ^ a b Bulos, Nabih. "Syrian rebel leader's death spurs debate about his legacy". latimes.com. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  17. ^ "Front victory arrest Abdul Baset Al-Sarout on charges of incitement". Al Etihad Press. 30 May 2017.
  18. ^ ""Edit Sham" acquits Abdel Basset Alsarut". Enab Baladi. 24 June 2017.
  19. ^ "'Revolution Icon' Abdul Basset al-Sarout died of wounds sustained in Hama battles: commander". Zaman Al Wasl. 2019-06-08. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  20. ^ a b "Syrian footballer and 'singer of revolution' killed in conflict". The Guardian. 2019-06-08. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  21. ^ "Syrian goalie-turned rebel icon dies in Turkey". Ahval. 9 June 2019.
  22. ^ xmarn (2019-06-08). "The death of Abdul Basit al Sarout on Jun 8, due to wounds sustained in a shelling by Syrian regime on a front in Hama". Syrian Network for Human Rights. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  23. ^ "Syrian goalkeeper who became rebel icon dies in Hama battle". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-06-08.

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