35,000 Shi'ite Civilians Trapped in Surrounded Villages
Underscoring the increasingly sectarian nature of the Syrian Civil War, we get news today of the villages of Zahraa and Nubl, two Shi’ite dominated villages in the Aleppo region, both of which are completely surrounded by Sunni rebels.
An estimated 35,000 villagers are trapped in the villages with no chance of escape, with rebel snipers gunning down anyone who tries to leave. The rebels claim that the villages were housing “pro-regime gunmen.”
In theory Syria is a secular state, but with the leadership mostly made up of Shi’ites, the rebels have attracted a following of foreign Sunni Islamist factions, and some regional Shi’ites have flocked to Syria to fight against them.
What this means in the long run for Syria remains to be seen, but years of bloody violence in religiously split Iraq eventually forced minorities out of integrated districts and left the nation a patchwork of refugees on both sides. In the long run, sectarian tensions may also mean Shi’ite villages in a Sunni dominated portion of Syria are no longer sustainable.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Blowback: Attack on Canadian Parliament Leaves Ottawa Stunned - October 22nd, 2014
- More Troops, More Arms: Iraq Pushes US to Expand ISIS War - October 22nd, 2014
- Report: 25 ISIS Killed in US Airstrikes in Central Iraq - October 22nd, 2014
- Livni, Lapid Combine Blocs to Push Israel Back Into Peace Talks - October 22nd, 2014
- Libyan Parliament Pairs Up With Gen. Hifter: Attack Planned on Tripoli - October 22nd, 2014