Fighting broke out between armed gangs and militias under the authority of relatives of the regime president in his hometown of Qardaha on the Syrian coast.
The clashes broke out between a Shalish family gang and regime militias after an attempt to kidnap a girl from the Ismail family.
This pushed the regime president to intervene, having his security agencies arrest Amer and Jaafar Shalish in an ambush in Lattakia city. They are the grandchildren of the president’s cousin, Hikmat Shalish. The Shalish family leads an armed gang which smuggles drugs and engages in theft and blackmail.
Lattakia and Qardaha are witnessing a security breakdown under the control of the regime president and his relatives, which often leads to clashes among them. Clashes have occurred between Talal al-Assad’s children and the National Defense commander Eyad Barakat, and in previous clashes pro-Iranian Alawite officers have been arrested.
The reasons for the regime president’s intervention are not known—whether it was to save face or because he wants to dominate control over Qardaha.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.