The Telegraph reports (Religious warfare haunts Syria's villages: despatch about Beit Swelheh in Latakia province. This village used to be mixed Sunni-Alawite, but now the village is destroyed and all Alawites have left. According to the Sunnites still living there relations started to deteriorate when they took part in the protests against Assad; security was increased with roadblocks, house searches, arrests, etc. First the Sunnites left and then they came back with rebels to conquer the village and drive out the Alawites: "We had no choice," [a Sunni] said. "By this stage it was either defend our homes or be arrested."
Similar things happened in neighboring villages.
The article looks one-sided: Alawite input is missing. I quote it because it is the first report from this region. The questions it raises for me are:
- that increased "security" had very likely to do with increased rebel activity. Not a word about that in the article.
- all Sunni's leaving because of increased security sounds a bit brass to me. It may be that they were asked to leave by the rebels in preparation for an attack.