ISSN 2330-717X

Syria: The Formation Of Alawite Militias In Kassab Region

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By Mohammad D.

There are important new developments in Lattakia and its surrounding recently.  The violence that started a few months back in the East and North of the city itself has not subsided.  Yesterday a rumor spread that the FSA had shelled al-Qurdaha, something its leaders have been wishing to do from day one.  I think it is just a rumor, but, the big news is that the Alawis have started to form armed groups in some of the villages which are in direct contact with the Sunni villages.

Syria
Syria

The Alawis in areas that are not near the front lines have also begun amassing small arms.  They have also begun to form similar groups.  One of these groups appeared in the area of Jabal al-Turkman (North of Lattakia).  These new fighters are known locally as al-Lijan al-Sha’biyah (اللجان الشعبية).  So far they have light arms only.  The Assad regular troops are doing the heavy bombing and own the heavy arms.  Here is a link to their facebook page, which lists them as al-Muqawamah al-Suriyah (The Syrian Resistance).

In this Facebook page, one can see that the newly formed group has been engaging in military action against the Sunnis from that area.  The Sunnis (Turkmen) had formed their own brigade, which is fighting under the banner of the Free Syria Army (FSA).  The FSA has attacked the nearby Alawi villages on many occasions.  One Alawi village; al-Sarayah, has been emptied of its inhabitants, except the men who are armed and fighting along side others in al-Lijan al-Sha’biyah.  The Sunnis have also left their villages and gone to either Turkey or Lattakia city.  Lattakia is now overflowing with refugees and villagers escaping violence.  There are lots of people from Allepo there also.  The sports complex is packed with the poor refugees, The rich ones are renting apartments or rooms.  Also, to the East of Lattakia in al-Haffe region, fighting is still raging on.  The sound of artillery and explosions can be heard in Lattakia.  The situation on the coast  is explosive and growing more dangerous every week.

Another interesting phenomenon is that Turkish Alawis are writing in Turkish on the same Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/syr.moqawama — that is being used by Syrian Alawis. This seems to indicate that Alawis in Syria and Turkey are starting to work together.

Syria Comment - Joshua Landis

Joshua Landis maintains Syria Comment and teaches modern Middle Eastern history and politics and writes on Syria and its surrounding countries. He writes “Syria Comment,” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 3,000 readers a day. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis regularly travels to Washington DC to consult with the State Department and other government agencies. He is a frequent analyst on TV and radio.

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