Colonel Hatem Mahmoud ‘Ali of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was captured by Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) in 2012 after the latter launched an offensive to cutoff the Khanasser Highway to the Aleppo Governorate.
Following his capture, Colonel Ali was transferred to a jihadist-run prison in northern Hama, where he would spend nearly four years in captivity.
Yearning for freedom, the Syrian officer decided to make a daring escape this past weekend, evading the jihadist rebels in order to reach the nearest Syrian Arab Army checkpoint at the village of Ma’an in northern Hama.
Considered “missing-in-action” (MIA), Colonel Ali’s family presumed he was dead after failing to hear from him for several years.
The Syrian officer has now returned to his former headquarters, where he is being debriefed before returning home to his family.