Will Syria’s Alawites abandon Assad’s ‘sinking ship’?

Several Syrian opposition figures have called on Alawites to abandon Assad’s regime

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A recent call by the Free Syrian Army Chief Brigadier General Abdel Ilah al-Bashir on the Syrian Alawites to abandon the “sinking ship” has opened doors for discussion on an inclusive future Syrian government without Bashar al-Assad and ISIS militants.

In an interview with Al Arabiya on Tuesday, Gen. 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,” Gen. Bashir told Al Arabiya News Channel.”


“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 added.

Monzer Makhous, the Syrian National Coalition’s (SNC) ambassador to Paris, said Gen. Bashir's statement was an “important one,” albeit a late one.

He said the Syrian opposition failed to attract the Alawites and other minorities in Syria.

“The existence of Alawites in the opposition is almost non-existent," Makhous told Al Arabiya on Wednesday, adding that the Alawites still form the "backbone" of Assad's security regime.

Makhous warned that the Alawite sect could end up paying the price for its support of Assad if they don't denounce him. He noted how Assad's father, Hafiz, had executed several Alawite leaders.

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.

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