For first time, Syria’s Alawites protest against the regime
Alawites in Homs protest the deadly bombing of a school, in which 31 people, mostly children, were killed
Member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect took to the streets in the city of Homs on Thursday to protest the horrific twin bombing at an elementary school.
The protest was the first of its kind by members of the Alawite sect from which President al-Assad draw staunch support since the 2011 uprising against his rule.
Assad’s most loyal army generals and security officers mainly hail from the Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of the Shiite Islam that is followed by Assad’s regional ally Iran.
The school bombing, which took place in Homs’ neighborhood of Akrama killed 31 people, mostly children, and wounded 74 others.
A Syrian state television reporter covering the protest was reportedly attacked by the angry protesters, who chanted anti-government slogans and demanded the departure of the Homs governor.
“Liar, Liar, the Syrian media is a liar,” the protesters chanted.
The state TV reporter was captured in a video posted on YouTube telling her cameraman while interviewing a protester: “don’t show this, don’t show this.”
During the interview, the protester was saying: “If our state respects its people, minister of interior will resign, the minister of education will resign and the governor will resign.”
Rally in support
Since the Syrian revolution erupted three years ago, the Alawites have generally rallied in support for Assad, himself an Alawite.
The latest protest comes days after Syrian opposition leaders urged the Alawites to abandon Assad’s “sinking ship.”
In an interview with Al Arabiya on Tuesday, Free Syrian Army Chief Brigadier Abdel Ilah al-Bashir called upon “whoever has remained in the Syrian army, especially our families from the Alawite sect to leave that sinking ship, in which they were used as fuel, and join the frontlines and assume their leading positions which await them in the Free Syrian Army lines.”
“After proving its moderation and patriotism, the Free Syrian Army is the only option for the Syrian people's salvation, regardless of their affiliations and sects,” he told Al Arabiya News Channel,” he added.
Monzer Makhous, the Syrian National Coalition’s (SNC) ambassador to Paris, told Al Arabiya that “the existence of Alawites in the opposition is almost non-existent,” adding that the Alawites still form the "backbone" of Assad's security regime.
Meanwhile, former member of the opposition Syrian national Coalition Rima Fleihan said it was important that "all the components of the Syrian people who stand together to end the rule of dictatorship and terrorism.”
"Fleihan said the Assad's regime used the extremist groups to damage the reputation of the revolution and frighten minorities.
Will Syria’s Alawites abandon Assad’s ‘sinking ship’?Several Syrian opposition figures have called on Alawites to abandon Assad’s regime Analysis
PANORAMA: Will Syria's Alawites abandon regime?News Bulletins
2000GMT: FSA chief of staff calls on the Alawites to split from the Assad regimeTop Nusra Front is announced dead and mourned on his Twitter account News Bulletins
FSA chief urges Alawites to abandon Assad’s ‘sinking ship’Brigadier General Abdel Ilah al-Bashir says the FSA is only alternative to the Syrian regime Middle East
Syrian artist urges opposition to embrace Alawite communityPoint Of Order
Blasts in central Syria city of Homs kill 25The blasts hit a commercial street inhabited mostly by members of President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite sect Middle East
Alawite leader in Lebanon charged with ‘terror ties’Rifaat Eid, the political leader of the Arab Democratic Party, was accused along with 11 others of belonging to a terrorist group Middle East
Is Assad hoarding WMDs in Alawite heartland?A British newspaper cited Israeli and Russian sources as saying weapons have been “upgraded with the help of North Korean and Iranian experts” Middle East
Syrian school children among six killed in HomsOmm al-Amd is home to a Shiite community close to the Alawite sect of President Bashar al-Assad Middle East
Watchdog appeals to Lebanon over Syrian spilloverHuman Rights Watch urges Lebanon to better protect minority Alawites Middle East