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Salamiyah Boiling Over: Rebel Factions Warn Regime Against Harming Civilians as Protests Break Out

Homs Operations Room says it will respond to any "immoral" behavior from loyalist militias if civilians are harmed following renewed demonstrations in the regime-held city
Salamiyah Boiling Over: Rebel Factions Warn Regime Against Harming Civilians as Protests Break Out

The opposition Homs Operations Room has warned the regime against taking any action against the people of Salamiyah, Hama province, following locals’ demands to eject loyalist militants from the city.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Operations Room said: "When we heard that the regime's shabeeha are threatening our people in Salamiyah and were made aware of their immoral behavior, we decided to support the people of the city against these threats. We will never forget their support."

The factions warned the shabeeha forces not to act irresponsibly, threating to respond to any unjust actions taken by the militants.

Talal Mansour, deputy commander of the Operations Room, confirmed to Al-Souria that the statement will be converted into actions, adding that the opposition factions have not forgotten the support of the free people of Salamiyah.

The statement was issued following demonstrations in Salamiyah against the practices of pro-Assad militants after clashes between two groups of shabeeha developed into a firefight last week. Three civilians were killed while a number of others, including a child, were injured in the fighting, according to local sources.

Salamiyah has witnessed a number of deadly clashes over the past years as weapons have become readily available, turning the city into a stage for kidnappings and blackmail by powerful families. Colonel Suheil al-Hassan, the prolific Syrian army commander, was a key supporter of a number of pro-regime clans in the city, such as the Salama, al-Jurdi and Faraj families.

Regime forces have since shut off power and communications in the city in a move to punish locals and to prevent them distributing photos or videos of the protests, according to local sources.

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.

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