Insurgents take over the Syrian military's infantry school, December 2012
Most of the supervising officers were Alawites, Adel said, and the commanders told cadets that the fight was against armed terrorists, many of them foreign, who were bent on destroying the country. Unable to call their parents or watch foreign news channels, the cadets had no way to verify this assessment. “They would insult Sheikh Arour,” Adel said, referring to the firebrand and sectarian Sunni cleric who has a TV show on a Saudi satellite station.
As war raged in Aleppo and news trickled into the infantry school of comrades who died or fled the battle, cadets from all sects quietly talked about plans to defect and speculated on when Assad would fall, Ahmad said. By November 1st, the battle reached the infantry school.