A Syrian citizen on Wednesday died of natural causes, shocking observers who were left scrambling to explain how he managed to avoid death by gunfire, barrel bombs, chemical weapons, beheading or torture by the government, the opposition, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Russia or the United States.
Younes Jallab passed away peacefully in his sleep, despite ample opportunities to starve or die of a lack of clean water or diabetes medication, or during hospital bombings. The septuagenarian also evaded heart attacks and mental breakdowns brought about by the war.
“He was never a burden on us, in life and in death,” said Ahmed Jallab, his son, in an interview. “We didn’t have to go around collecting scattered remains from a bombing site. All we had to do was mourn his passing, not the way he died.”
Syria’s warring factions issued a joint statement warning that such incidents damaged their collective credibility.
“We have exclusive jurisdiction over the death sector in Syria, and Younes’s act of dying without following the necessary procedures cannot be ignored,” the statement said. “We will detain his body in the morgue pending an investigation into the incident and we will then take the necessary measures with regards to his corpse.”
The statement added: “In addition to the harm we have to collectively endure as a result of this selfish act, Younes forfeited the opportunity to take advantage of the crisis and die a martyr.”