Saturday, June 9, 2012

Syrian Conflict Turns More Sectarian as Assad Uses Alawites to Attack Sunnis

As we noted in a previous post, it seems increasingly evident that President Bashar al-Assad is using sectarianism as a way to create divisions within Syria.  We have recently seen Assad using Alawite militias, in many cases from Alawite villages, to attack Sunni villages and carry out massacres.  Now Lebanon recently had an excellent recently had a piece by Tony Badran outlining Assad's approach and it seems like there are three main reasons Assad seems to be pursuing such a clear sectarian strategy:

  1. First, that Alawite community of which he is from will naturally be the most loyal, and therefore he uses them to attack the largely Sunni resistance.  
  2. Second, that by involving the wider Alawite community in a sectarian battle, according to Badran's article,"Assad is covering the collective hands of the Alawite community with Sunni blood, Assad is creating total identity between his family and the broader sect, while simultaneously heightening its existential fears and feeding its primordial hatreds."  
  3. Reason number three is to me the most intriguing.  By begin a campaign to attack Sunni areas within the two provinces where the majority of Alawites in the country live - Al-Ladhiqiya and Tartus - Assad may also be preparing a fallback plan for creating a mini-Alawite state along the Mediterranean Sea in case his regime is forced from power.  Below you can see the two provinces in purple directly north of Lebanon.  The Turking newspaper Today's Zaman recently had an excellent article on this subject.  Here is the link to the Now Lebanon article as well.

The Syrian provinces of Tartus and Al-Ladhiqiya - a future Alawite mini-state?

No comments:

Post a Comment