In Rebel-Held Towns, Syrians Protest Against Islamist Rule

One Killed as Rebels Disperse Protesters With Gunfire

by Jason Ditz, July 10, 2013

Growing resentment at a harsh brand of Islamist rule imposed by rebel factions has led to protests in multiple rebel-held towns in the Aleppo Province. The protests included criticism of a rebel blockade of supply routes into civilian areas not yet under rebel control.

The rebels see the blockade as necessary to weaken the supply routes of government forces, but the move is also keeping humanitarian food aid, finally trickling into the country, from civilians still living in the city, Syria’s largest.

Rebels dispersed today’s protests with gunfire, mostly fired in the air. Opposition activists confirmed at least one person was killed by the gunfire, however, and several others were wounded.

Food prices have been soaring recently across Syria, as the civil war impacts the nation’s food production, and makes transport even harder. Shortages are likely to exasperate the tensions growing in rebel-held neighborhoods that are less-than-enamored with being placed under harsh styles of Sharia law by foreign Islamist fighters.

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