A former Syrian shot-put champion is now a rebel commander who uses his sporting background to throw large bombs at Assad regime targets long distances away.

According to a report earlier this week on Lebanon’s Al-Jadid TV station, Abu Al-Kazem commands a Free Syrian Army brigade in the Deir Al-Zour area, in eastern Syria.

The report, which showed Al-Kazem in action hurling an unspecified device, said he was Syria’s national shot-put champion, but today makes and throws large explosive devices. “He has become well-known among the brigades in the Jbeile neighborhood,” the report said. “They make use of his expertise in throwing large and heavy bombs, which others find difficult to throw far enough to reach their target.”

Al-Kazem told the TV channel that the rebels “have been fighting with all possible means” against the Assad regime. “One means is the locally made mortars.” He showed several such devices for the camera. “See, they come in different sizes. Allah willing, we will rebuild this pure land.”


The report, which said Al-Kazem had been working in construction before the civil war broke out, was posted online and translated by the MEMRI Middle East Media Research Institute.

More than 146,000 people have been killed and nearly half the population displaced in Syria’s three-year war.