Skip to comments.Minority militias stir fears of sectarian war in Damascus (Syria's minorities line up behind Assad)
Posted on 09/08/2012 10:41:36 PM PDT by Zhang Fei
For months, most of Syria's minority sects stood warily on the sidelines of the revolt by the Sunni Muslim majority against President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite-dominated rule.
But in Damascus, neighborhood vigilante groups are arming themselves in Christian, Druze and Shi'ite Muslim areas, throwing up sectarian borders across Syria's capital in alliance with Assad's forces.
"We protect our area from terrorists. We check all the cars coming in, and anyone we're suspicious of," says Sameer, 32, one of four men with rifles sipping tea under a stone archway in the Christian quarter of the historic old city.
By "terrorists" Sameer, a cab driver with the Virgin Mary and a cross tattooed on his arms, means the mostly Sunni rebels who have fallen back to an arc of suburbs on the eastern outskirts after fierce battles with Assad's forces in July.
Larger checkpoints manned by young gunmen, sometimes teenagers, stand outside most districts home to minority sects, which had earlier been reluctant to offer more than tacit acceptance of Assad's rule.
"Security forces are arming the minorities," said the young resident. "They are preparing for a sectarian war."
"If the army doesn't call me for reserve duty, I may volunteer. My brother was a soldier. The rebels in Homs killed him. These people are radical Islamist terrorists," says Wael, a 33-year-old Druze carpenter sitting at a crossroads behind a rickety desk which serves as a checkpoint.
In a Shi'ite part of Damascus's old city, Hassan, a chubby 26-year-old in flip flops, patrols a street that leads to the Sunni neighborhood nearby.
"They're well-armed over there, thanks to the Gulf. We're afraid they will penetrate our area. They want to break into our homes," he says, wiping sweat off his shaved head.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
The saw what happened to religious minorities in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, etc when the “arab spring” came.
It was a winter for them.
Great. I guess this offshoot of Shiite Ismaili islam are more "good muslims," right?
The rebels are islamic radicals maybe?
Couldn't really say. I can say that Ismailis are persecuted and slaughtered as heretics/apostates throughout the Sunni Muslim world. They're probably preferable to the moderate Islamists in the Free Syrian Army, though. Again, supporting weak Muslim sects against the 1b strong Sunni Muslims responsible for 9/11 makes good strategic sense, just as supporting Stalin against Hitler made sense during WWII.
The current PC term for these people is moderate Islamists. Think of them as Islamic supremacists who haven't yet killed any Americans.
You really think the Saudi royal family and the Emir of Qatar where we have a miltary base were behind 9-11?
That sound like some kind of "truther" talk. Did you read that in the Russian KGB-run media?
Shiites aren’t islamic supremacists though right? They just want to be our friends?
Moderate Before Killing Americans. MBKA.
Iran's nuclear program should have been flattened after 9/11. Instead, GWB invaded Iraq.
The Gulf royals mostly just want to be left alone. Their seething populations are a different matter. If they had their druthers... Note that 3/4 of Egypt voted for the Islamists.
Gulf Arabs hate our guts. The royals like us because we guarantee their borders. Don't believe me? Check out the Pew reports on Arab sentiment towards the US sometime. Note that 9/11 was financed by Gulf Arabs. Not the Gulf royals. The hoi polloi and wealthy private individuals who would put the heads of the royals on pikes if they had their way.
I guess we should have let Saddam get nukes right, because he just wanted to be our friend and protect Christians like his fellow socialist Assad, right?
Our Lady of the Castle Monastery Target of Syria Attacks - September 2, 2012 - "A large number of shells coming from the Syrian side landed on Lebanese border villages and towns adjacent to the Al-Kabir River. The town of Menjez where the Christian Maronite monastery Our Lady of the Castle is located witnessed the most intense shelling resulting in the displacement of many residents who headed for safer areas," NNA reported.
Mikati sends message to Syria over shelling - September 04, 2012 - At least 25 shells fired by the Syrian army struck the mainly Christian village of Menjez Friday, wounding one person and damaging homes. Hundreds of residents of Menjez fled their homes in search of sanctuary, a scene repeated over the next few days in other Akkar villages that witnessed severe shelling.
The Syrian minister described as political comedy calls from countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Lebanon to stay away from the crisis in Syria. If the Qataris and Saudis do not want to take the crisis to Lebanon, they should stop sending arms and militants and funding terrorists there, he said. In July, President Michel Sleiman accused Syria of violating Lebanese territory after a house in a village in the east of the country was hit by a shell, with several more falling along the northern border.
The Lebanese Army is trying to deploy in the region, but violations of the border towns by the Syrian side are incessant; that is why we need the protection of international forces, Akkar MP Nidal Tohme told The Daily Star. Tohme said that intense shelling of north Lebanon border villages continued over the weekend, even after Sleiman received assurances from Syrian officials that those responsible would be held accountable. He also hinted that he believes the targeting of Christian villages is a deliberate strategy on the part of Syria. The timing of the targeting of such towns raises many questions as to whether this is the Syrian regimes response to President Sleimans recent national stances.
Similarly, Future bloc MP Riad Rahhal lambasted the Syrian violations, accusing the Syrian regime of sowing strife in the region. Rahhal told The Daily Star that the shelling brings to mind the Civil War, when Christians in certain regions were forced to abandon their towns. Other towns have also been subjected to Syrian shelling, and we cannot simply keep quiet about such violations. The era of Syrian tutelage is over.
Jeez... I end this whole thing in 1 week.
Take out the mullahs in Iran, Nasralla wherever he is hiding and let the Iranian people take back the country. The will negotiate with the west and we will kill the nuke program.
Then open up drilling throughout the US. The Saudis will fall into line.
It’s pretty clear to me that we have NO friends in this conflict, so let’s stay out of it.
Quite possibly the oldest motto of realistic politics is “divide and conquer.”
In Shia Iran we should support Sunnis, and in Sunni-dominated countries we should support Shia, Druze, Christians, Alawis and anyone else opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Not because we like any of them, but to weaken our enemies.
This isn’t all the complicated.
The oil revenues are parceled out among them, and each Prince also comes with a "posse," or entourage of HIS family and a usually Iranian "business manager." Pieces of the economic action are parceled out amongst them according to some arcane pecking order. E.G., MacDonalds has a "Prince" sponsor who gets his cut off the top. Ford, Mercedes, Wendy's, KFC, GE, Apple, Microsoft, etc.,etc. ditto. The country lives on imports ... and every last nut and bolt, every mouthful of food, every CD, is some prince or other's piece of the action. They jockey constantly to get their share of the money, government posts, etc. Put it another way: there are by now probably a Million multi millionaires and a couple of hundred true billionaires.
All this wealth is divided into zealously guarded "territories." The Royal Army is offset by the Saudi National Guard ... you got it ... two different "Princes." The Air Force ... the Navy... the National Police ... The Religious Police ... each Government department ... each under the control of a different "Prince." It's their idea of Checks and Balances. Think Tony Soprano crossed with Louis XV, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the The Hole in the Wall Gang.
There are plenty of other non-royal super rich people in the mix, too. But they too pay up the line to their prince. The upshot of all this is that one Prince is in charge of anti-terror intelligence, while another Prince and some wealthy cronies will be funding explosive jockstraps for some group of fanatics attached to some other Prince's favorite mosque. Everyone knows everything except us .... and the House of Saud benefits because they have total plausible deniability. The 9/11 people are a fine example.
Incredible as it may seem, there are many poor people, too. The Cradle-to-the-Grave thing has been stretched mighty thin because the population has quintupled in the last 30 years. A Saudi citizen can still literally walk over to "city hall" and sign for a new white Toyota pick-up, but things aren't as lavish as they once were. A Saudi citizen can still have all the food he wants, and cheap housing and utilities for himself and 20 or so ex-wives who raise his 50 children, but it can get tight. The typical young Saudi of any means at all doesn't work much, just drives around all day long going to fast food joints and to the mosque for daily indoctrination ... that's why so many are available for mujahedin duty.
The House of Saud? Worst set of SoB's in the entire world ... except for what would follow them in control of this "country." Think a new "Khadaffi" .... crazier and on even more steroids and crack.
Remember the no-fly zone? The one that cost a few billion dollars a year, and erased Saddam's air force and air defenses? That was how we ensured Saddam was unable to gin up another Osirak reactor. The problems with the invasion of Iraq are - (1) we have installed a Shiite dictator wannabe (Maliki), (2) we spent $100b a year, (3) we lost 5000 dead GI's, (4) we spent political capital that could have been used to destroy an actual nuclear program (Iran's), prevent Obamacare, and so on and (5) we did not actually get a permanent base in Iraq - the Iraqi electorate chose to elect politicians who decided to expel US forces from the country.
Bush likened the invasion of Iraq to lancing and draining an abscess (left over from Desert Storm). In retrospect, it's been more like opening an artery. $1T and 5000 dead GI's later, we've been kicked out of the country, and a Shiite dictatorship is about to replace the Sunni one.