Assad Is Reshaping Syria to Entrench His Rule

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - According to Israeli intelligence assessments, about a third of the Syrians now under the control of the regime are Alawite - more than twice their proportion before the outbreak of the war. And close to 10% are Shi'ite Muslims, compared to 3% prior to the war. Millions of Sunni Muslims who fled during the war, mainly to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Europe, will mostly not be allowed to return. At the same time, Sunnis who don't see a future in the new Syria are leaving now too. In the past year, between 8,000 and 10,000 young Sunnis left the Dara'a area, the cradle of the revolt against the Assad regime in 2011. Most emigrated to Europe. In addition, Shi'ites have recently taken over at least two Syrian Golan villages not far from the border with Israel. At the same time, Hizbullah has established an array of observation points and intelligence-gathering bases in the vicinity of the border with Israel, with assistance from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and area residents.

2022-02-24 00:00:00

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