Golan Druze Turning against Assad

February 22, 2012  

Druze in the Golan Heights are beginning to turn against Syrian President Bashar Assad and protesting against his regime for the first since the Six-Day War in 1967.

Golan Druze, a religion of its own and not a Muslim sect, comprise nearly 50 percent of the population of the strategic Golan region and most of them have been adamantly anti-Israel, often out of fear of reprisals against relatives in Syria.

Most of the population lives in the village of Majdal Shams, on the road to Mount Hermon, and they have family ties with Syrians. Residents have remained silent during the year-old Arab Spring rebellion and are careful not to show affinity for Israel put of fear Assad could harm their relatives or even themselves if he were to gain sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Assad previously has offered Israel a peace treaty in return for the land, from where his forces easily attacked Israelis below the mountainous area before the 1967 war.

Human rights groups told the Associated Press that “support for the opposition is growing each week, you could say, if not every day,” but it has not taken on a militant tone. Several peaceful protests have cropped up at the city’s main square, a rare public expression against Assad.

Meanwhile, the daily murder of opponents to Assad continues, with faint hope by the opposition that the United States will agree to support them militarily.

At least 45 people died in the central Syrian city of Homs Tuesday, including prominent blogger Rami al-Said. His last post on Facebook stated, “Baba Amro is being wiped out now, complete genocide, I don’t want you to tell us ‘our hearts are with you’ because I know that, I want projects everywhere inside and outside I want everyone to go out in front of the embassies in all countries everywhere because we are soon to be nothing, there will be no more Baba Amr – I expect this is a final letter to you and we will not forgive you.”

Baba Amr is a section of the city of Homs that has been a hotbed of revolt, and that has been intensely besieged by Assad forces over the past several months in an effort to break the uprising. 


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