The Assad regime and Iranian backed terror groups are attempting to propagate the Shia faith in Sunni-majority Syria, local sources told Anadolu Agency.
In Syria’s eastern oil-rich province of Deir ez-Zor, the regime and Iranian backed groups are forcing people to recite a Shia-style call to prayer in the Mayadin and Abou Kamal districts near the Iraqi border, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to security concerns.
At least 20 imams who refused to recite the Shia call to prayer were dismissed, the sources said, while a number of others were detained.
Unlike the Sunni call to prayer, Shias add the refrain, “I bear witness that Ali is the guardian of Allah”.
Located near the Iraqi border, Deir ez-Zor is home to Syria’s largest oilfields. Eleven of the country’s largest oilfields are located east of the Euphrates River, which snakes through Deir ez-Zor province.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.