Regime Refuses to Arm Druze Against Al Qaeda group

Activists reported unremitting efforts by clerics to mobilize youths to fight rebels in Druze strongholds

The Syrian regime refused to arm the Druze sect in the southern province of Sweida over recent skirmishes with the Al-Qaeda group and the bedouin, saying 'civilians’ arming is disaster', according to a Zaman al-Wasl source quoting a Druze cleric.


Last Saturday, at least 15 people, including seven Druze clerics, were killed and dozens wounded when an Al-Qaeda-linked group backed with tribal fighters stormed Deir Dama village near Sweida city.


The Zaman al-Wasl reporter said the Nusra Front's jihadists and bedouin fighters had stormed the village, dominated by the Druze minority after a series of sectarian spats.


Activists said rebels had beheaded a young man and a number of civilians were held captive.


Some Druze activists warned of strife if the fight escalated in the neighboring villages with Daraa, urging Druze clerics to stop inciting hatred feelings and to ‘quell the sedition’.


Activists reported unremitting efforts by clerics to mobilize youths to fight rebels in Druze strongholds.


The controversial stand of Bashar al-Assad’s regime seemed to be a ‘National Decision’ but soon it appears the reason behinds refuse armament reflects Assad’s concerns, especially “if we look back to 2000 when Syrian regime supported Bedouin in their fight against Druze,” activists and analysts told Zman al-Wasl.


The Syrian regime has founded its own militias as National Defence Army and Shiite brigades but its concerns are getting higher when it comes to arming the Druze, activists say.


The clashes between Druze and bedouin have recalled bad memories of fierce clashes that took place in 2000, as activists accused the Syrian regime of supporting the tribes.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer



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