Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Sectarian Nature of the Battle in Syria

The NY Times had a fascinating article yesterday on the fall of the Baba Amr enclave in the city of Homs.  The rebels in the Baba Amr enclave had held out for nearly one month against superior numbers and firepower deployed by the Syrian army before finally deciding to withdraw. 

The most interesting part about the Times piece was its analysis of how rebellion in Syria has become increasingly sectarian in nature.  The Assad regime as well as the most elite units of the military are largely composed of Alawites, an offshoot of the Shia branch of Islam.  The Alawites make up about 12% of the country's population, while the majority Sunnis make up nearly 75%.  Much of the Alawite population believes it is literally fighting for its life, and belief that if the Assad regime falls the consequences for their community will be dire.  This is a must read article.


  1. I think Saudi Arabia and Israel are pushing us around as their own private gofer. Both nations have strong devastating influence on us. Both are also full of hate? Such hate dogma is vastly different from our American persona before the Evangelicals / talk radio hate ideologies. America has changed, at least it's opinion makers has caused us to change to a hate culture just like the Saudis, and the Israelis.

  2. "Sunnis make up nearly 75%": that is only if you include the Kurds and Turkmenes. Sunni Arabs - who form the core of the rebellion - are only about 58%. So Syria is more divided than the NYT likes to suggest.