Readers of this blog will know that I sometimes cover the lives of individuals who have fought and died in the Syrian conflict as a way of exploring how individuals can shift between formations over time. One interesting case on the Syrian government side is that of Badi' Muhammad Hasawi, who was killed in fighting on the Latakia countryside fronts on 29 November 2016.
Badi' was born in 1980 in the north Hama countryside town of Morek, which was regained by the Syrian government and its allies during the military campaign launched earlier this year. He is the son of Muhammad Hasawi, who was 'martyred' after being wounded in an attack by armed men on the family home in 2012. That attack had aimed to capture Badi', but he engaged in an exchange of fire with them and managed to escape from their clutches. His brother Sharaf Abd al-Aziz Muhammad Hasawi was a policeman who was killed on the Damascus-Aleppo highway near Ma'arat al-Nu'man in Idlib province
Originally, Badi' was affiliated with the 87th brigade of the Syrian army, participating in various campaigns it waged. He then worked with the military intelligence (al-Amn al-Askari) in Hama and received fighting fronts in Morek, Halfaya and al-Latamina. His operation base was the Zalin point that overlooks al-Latamina and the insurgents tried many times to advance on this front by attacking the Zalin point but their efforts failed. Behind his line during this period (2013-2015) were forces affiliated with the asdiqa' ('friends'- i.e. the Iranian allies of the Syrian government) and based at the 47th brigade base in Hama. There was a mutual exchange of assistance between Badi' and these forces during that time.
In 2016, he was commissioned from his original affiliation with the 87th brigade to work with the forces of the asdiqa' ('friends')- that is, the Local Defence Forces- on the Latakia front, as there was a need for him at that time amid the difficulties of the battles in the mountainous regions. In particular, it was al-Hajj Asghar of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who made the request for him to be commissioned to work with the forces of the asdiqa'. Badi' specifically came to work with the group Liwa al-Mukhtar al-Thiqfi. Badi' was then killed on Tallat al-Zawiqat on the Kabbana front as a result of a mortar round fired by the insurgents.
It is said that the insurgents offered him large sums of money to defect, but despite their offers and his poor financial situation he turned them down. There were also multiple assassination attempts against him but none of them succeeded.
On the day before he was killed, there was a battle on the Tallat 54 front in Kabbanah and a number of fighters on the side of the Syrian government suffered poisoning on account of grenades thrown by the insurgents. Badi' was fighting on that front and helped to evacuate the fighters and their weapons, as they were subsequently taken to a hospital in Latakia countryside.