As Syrian Civil War Grows, Religious Minorities Form Militias

Sectarian clashes may grow as more factions take up arms

by Jason Ditz, September 07, 2012

With Syria’s Civil War taking on an ever growing sectarian angle, the nation’s various religious minorities, even the ones that weren’t directly involved in the fight in the first place, are starting to take up arms and form militias of their own.

What was initially a battle between Sunni rebels and an Alawite-dominated government now has new factions, with Druze and Christians setting up militias to police their own neighborhoods and keep the other sides out.

Neighborhoods setting up their own militias for defense is nothing new, and several blocs did the same thing in Cairo during the revolution there. The difference is that the Egyptian revolution was virtually over at this point, while the Syrian Civil War seems to still be escalating.

With more and more armed groups in close proximity, the war just gets that much more complicated, particularly with the al-Qaeda linked portions of the rebels likely to treat the new militias as even more serious enemies as the military.

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