President Bashar al-Assad has made a phone call to the head of the Unitarian Druze Community, Hikmat al-Hijri, in an attempt to dispel recent tension in the city of Suweida.
The tension was first ignited by the head of the Military Security branch, Luay al-Ali, who insulted and cursed at Hijri, after the latter requested the release of an arrested person from Suweida.
As a result, the presidency of the Monotheistic Muslims in Suweida attacked the regime’s officials, while several local authorities said that an official apology from the ruling authority in Damascus was in order.
A media source from the city of Suweida said in statements to Alsouria Net on Monday that “Assad called Hijri on Sunday, praising his prominence in Suweida and emphasized the importance of national unity.”
The same source added that the communication was confirmed by those close to Hijri and indicated that the presidency will be issuing a statement including the details of the contact.
Suweida 24 said that the Monotheistic Presidency, represented by His Eminence Sheikh Hikmat al-Hijri, will issue a statement in the coming hours, in which it will announce turning the page on the recent dispute, which was sparked by Ali.
“Assad communicated with his eminence and told him that he does not accept that religious symbols be offended, bringing up the issue of patriotic cohesion,” according to Suweida 24, quoting sources close to Hijri.
The regime had not confirmed the call at the time of this writing. The only information about it is through circles close to Hijri.
Many visited Hijri’s house in Qanawat in the past few days, in attempts to calm the tension. However, none of them yielded any results, while local circles insisted on an official apology from Assad since the insult offends the peoples of Mount Druze as a whole.
Hijri had contacted Ali with the aim of inquiring about one of the detainees from Suweida, named Siraj al-Sahnawi. Ali showed arrogance and insulted his eminence, according to a local source.
Anger prevailed among the youth and sheikhs of Suweida following the incident, and delegations of dignitaries and residents went to Qanawat, where Hijri lives, as an expression of solidarity.
Some residents tore up pictures of Assad, on the Qanawat – Museum Intersection road, as a sign of resentment.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.